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Minireview: Rites of Renown, edited by Bill Bridges

One of the stretch goals of the Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition Kickstarter was a fiction anthology, and Rites of Renown (subtitled “When Will You Rage II”) is the result. Somewhat surprisingly, taking into account that it’s gaming fiction and originally “just” an add-on, it’s good. Very good, in fact. I should perhaps stop being surprised at the quality of these new World of Darkness anthologies, since recent other books from other related game lines have also been of high quality. Onyx Path is clearly attracting a better breed of writers than old White Wolf did (though some of the writers here are also old White Wolf writers, now with more writing skill).

The book contains 19 stories, focusing on the Garou. While many are action-filled tales of the fight against the Wyrm in all its forms, some are more subtle, dealing with alienation from humanity and from their own “kinfolk”, and with other subjects not easily solved with giant teeth and claws. Not all of the stories are total winners, but most are quite enjoyable and a few are memorably good.

Very much worth picking up if you like the W:tA game (or at least know something about it). Not sure how well this collection would work for someone with no previous background info; I suspect some confusion would result since not everything is explained here, it’s assumed the reader can fill in some of the gaps.

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