A few months ago, I reviewed Romina Garber’s Lobizona, and I stated that “there’s a comforting familiarity” to the story. The follow-up, Cazadora: Wolves of No World #2(Wednesday Books, 2021), continues in that familiar pattern but maintains the very unique feel that set Garber’s worldbuilding apart in Lobizona; Garber’s story relies heavily on Argentinian folklore and the concept of “borders” and “belonging.”
Cazadora opens right after the events in Lobizona, with the cazadora close on the heels of Manu and her pack. The undercurrent of the follow-up doesn’t hit as heavily on notions of undocumented and illegals because they’re no longer in the US. Instead, it hits a bit more heavily on gender norms and the restrictive nature of the binary classifications that influence the Septimus world. As Manu learns more about the magical world that would deny her very existence as a hybrid, she becomes more determined to turn it on its head; it’s time for a revolution and the female werewolf becomes the face of the movement.
Manu, Cata, Tiago, and Saysa set out to find the elusive Coven, always just one step ahead of the cazadoras who are hunting them. They find the Coven in a way reminiscent of the Room of Requirement in the HP canon. (As I’ve mentioned before, there are numerous nods to the English series and this is but one.) The Coven is full of individuals who don’t fit in. There is a trans werewolf (remember, until Manu, all werewolves are male and must identify as such), a werewolf who has been shunned by his family and community after an injury left him unable to transition, and infertile women and women who do not wish to have children (remember, brujas are required to “breed” and there are very strict rules concerning magic and motherhood). Alongside them are men and women who crave a revolution and a change to the status quo.
Manu and her pack fit in seamlessly with the group of misfits, idealists, rebels and dreamers. But they don’t know her darkest secret; she’s a hybrid, and Septimus laws say she must die. The cazadora will never stop hunting her. Will the Coven continue to fight beside her if they find out the truth? Or will they fear her and turn against her?
Cazadora shows the transition of Manu into someone who is a bit more comfortable in her skin, a bit more willing to take risks, and a bit more vocal. With her old friends and some new characters like Zaybet by her side, Manu is set to take down Septimus.
“All I know is they’ve been making up stories about independent girls in every tradition since forever…And I think it’s time we take back our narratives.”
Read this book.