This is so much more than a werewolf story. We follow Michael Gallatin, the tortured protagonist of this wonderful novel, from his tragic and violent childhood to his coming of age in a band of werewolves and finally through his adventures as an uniquely skilled spy for the Allies in World War 2.
Part coming of age novel, part traditional horror story, part thrilling and atmospheric historical spy thriller---it excels at all three. I found the spy story angle thrilling as I rushed through the pages just as much as I felt Michael's pain as he suffered the inevitable existential crisis at trying to find his place in the universe, straddling both worlds and the ever slippery and relativistic concepts of good and evil. The historical elements were completely believable. I felt the cold of those forests and the historical aspects were completely convincing.
What I loved about this novel is that the werewolf element never overwhelms the story. It is always the story of Michael Gallatin, the man. His lycanthropy is just an aspect of this tremendously interesting character---and this novel is full of interesting characters, both good and evil.
Fantastic story start to finish. Five stars and the highest possible recommendation.