Werenight/Prince of the North Critical Essays

Harry Turtledove


(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Werenight and Prince of the North are two fascinating works of fantasy by Turtledove, the author of numerous fantasy and science-fiction novels. The novels have received generally positive reviews from critics.

Turtledove creates a well-crafted fantasy world that is full of intrigue and danger. In the midst of desperate fights for survival against a powerful wizard and hideous monsters are humorous moments that provide some relief from the tension generated by the story. Two other strong aspects of these novels are the complex characters and the complicated relationships that exist among them.

Turtledove creates a fantasy world in which his hero, Gerin, is threatened by a powerful wizard and a horde of hideous monsters. These villains threaten to destroy everyone around them and return the world to a state of barbarism. In the midst of desperate struggles against these foes, there are humorous moments that serve to relieve tension. For example, in Werenight Gerin and his allies are surrounded by dozens of werewolves and other wereanimals; they are in a desperate battle for their lives. In the midst of the carnage, however, Turtledove describes one man who did not change into a wolf or bear but was instead transformed into a giant fish. The image of a giant fish, flopping on the land during a vicious battle, provides a moment of comic relief before the final confrontation with Balamung. Similarly, the argument between...

(The entire section is 512 words.)