Giles leads readers into the grim yet fascinating world of middle age england through the character of Osric, a young man with no memory of his past a...moreGiles leads readers into the grim yet fascinating world of middle age england through the character of Osric, a young man with no memory of his past apart from a blood ruined eye. His world is disturbed by the appearence of a group of norse traders unsettling him and his common folk. Yet the peace is further disturbed when the local priest tried to posion the Jarl Sigurd and Osric forewarns the Jarl of this trick. A fight ensues and men are killed yet Osric is spared only by the quickeness of his tongue in saving the Jarl's life. He is taken away from the land he knows of has home with the warband and so begins another new way of life for him, of praying to the old gods to calm the seas as he is brought up upon the longships, to hunger after treasure of silver and jewels but most of all the importance of the bond men as warriors forge and the fatal penalty due when any man breaks such an bond as the fellowship of norsemen.
A definite must buy and read ASAP for any fans of Robert Low and Bernard Cornwell. Giles Kristian is a new kid on the block in this genre and he is definitly as talented for telling a good saga of sword brothers as Low and Cornwell who've been masters for years.(less)
This book really does triumph as a sequel to Raven: Bloodeye. There's more drama, tension, suprises, battle and death as well a nice dollop of cunning...moreThis book really does triumph as a sequel to Raven: Bloodeye. There's more drama, tension, suprises, battle and death as well a nice dollop of cunning in the new series of adventures experiecnes by Raven and his fellowship of Sigurd the Lucky. There's a even a bit of love thrown in for Raven but it has turned tainted and sour by the end of the book. And one character meets his ill-fated death by the hand of no norseman which is one of the many satisfying twists and turns Gile's weaves into his fine thrilling saga. All lovers of viking historical fiction should read this and take note of the amazing new young blooded talent that brings the lives of vikings once more into the fore of our imaginations.(less)
An incredibly detailed, inspiring, imaginative and eye opening insight not only into the every day lives of people growing and living through the so c...moreAn incredibly detailed, inspiring, imaginative and eye opening insight not only into the every day lives of people growing and living through the so called Dark Ages but also why they believed what they did, how they practiced it, how it related them to the wider world or their local surroundings. Full of facts and snippets from ancient manuscripts covering ancient Germanic Tribes, Anglo-Saxon, Norse, Celtic and many other cultural beliefs. I enjoyed it so much, it really was a pleasure to read and I was saddened when it ended.(less)
This book is a saga as complex, thrilling, scary, mysterious, challenging and exciting as being Alice and going through the rabbit hole into an entire...moreThis book is a saga as complex, thrilling, scary, mysterious, challenging and exciting as being Alice and going through the rabbit hole into an entirely different world. Neil Gaiman introduces the reader to a wide cast of characters each with their own historical story and meaning and each with their own unique suffering for existing in the large landscape of America. The plot is so full of turns, twists, backtracks that it is hard even to sum up. But the over all story does touch on something that I have a good feeling about as it is a point of view that I apply in my own writing. What is important about our spiritual beliefs? What happens when those beliefs fade? What happens to those stories and heroes and gods who live off our belief? How do they survive such a secular world? Those questions are explored through a quite foreign mythical person of Mr Wednesday (I won't reveal his true name) and the normal human he's brought into his employment Shadow a man who has his own problems and soon learns he is meant to help with many supernatural problems around America. It is a long and deep read but each chapter has its own significance and each character has its own appeal and in the end all questions created are answered and it left me with the answer that our beliefs are important because we choose to believe in them.(less)
This is a great book for anyone in the United Kingdom who wants to understand the history surrounding the first viking raids to 1066. As it not only c...moreThis is a great book for anyone in the United Kingdom who wants to understand the history surrounding the first viking raids to 1066. As it not only covered of course the impact on the small english kingdoms of Mercia, Wessex, North Umbria etc but it looks at how the vikings first began to turn towards the main continent by raiding into the Hebrides and Shetland, then how they affected the politics and many battles in Ireland which was as divded as England at the time with many small rulers squabbling for ultimate control, which then leads on to the invasion of England. It also dispells many of the myths surrounding the vikings such as the sticking idea of horned helmets and that they were only good at raiding whereas they were good adapters to changing environments and cultural clashes, brilliant blacksmiths, farmers, jewellers and poets. It looks at the viking influence in the not to recent past such as the Victorian interest that sparked up around their myths and most controversially how the German Nazi's distorted the image of the brave viking to spur on their warriors and even used a rune to become the Nazi symbol. This book is not just easy to understand and follow it never bores you to death, it is always interesting by looking at different archeaological, historical and physical discoveries and finds that have helped support and develope our understanding of the vikings, why they came here, why they stayed here and all they did to help change our history. Julian Richards, the author, also looks at the homelands of the vikings so we understand their brutal and harsh origins but also at the key players that lived and influenced events in this fantasticly turbulent era, from Edmund the Unready, Alfred the Great, Eric Bloodaxe, Athelfaed - Alfred's daughter, Athelstan to Cnut, Harthacnut, Harald Hardrada to William Duke of Normandy. Some of the pictures used in this book are of good quality and detail enabling you to see many of the finds and discoveries he discusses from outlines of the Danelaw, viking treasure hordes to burials and historical documents from the period. It really helped improve my understanding of how much the Vikings changed and shaped our present culture today. I really recommend it to anyone whether just beginning to take an interest in these fascinating people or devout fans.(less)
MD Lachlan has become one of only three authors I can name who have magically blended the historical world of vikings with that of norse mythology. He...moreMD Lachlan has become one of only three authors I can name who have magically blended the historical world of vikings with that of norse mythology. He now joins the ranks of my favourite norse fantasy authors being Betsy Tobin with her fantastic Ice Land and Joanne Harris with Runemarks.
He grasps the reader by the hand in a firm yet gentle grip of storytelling that enchants the reader as much as the characters of Vali, Fealig and Adilsa are bound by fates, magic and the gods of war and mischief. It is a norse saga of kings, princes, beserkers, fair maidens, long ship battles, raids, kidnap, sorcery, runes, witches and of course wolves. Yet it is as fine a saga tale as Shakespeares with all its twists, turns, plots, subplots, mysteries and magical mayhem.
The story is so full of suprises both exciting and shocking that nothing is ever as certain as it appears until you reach the final page and even then MD Lachlan leaves a nice twist which will be the build up to his next book.
It is as it says no the front cover a DEFINITE MUST READ for all fans of VIKINGS and NORSE MYTHOLOGY. You won't be disappointed and you'll be left hungering for more like the wolves of chaos in the story.
If I could give this book 10 stars I would. It is that goood!(less)
Although this book is aimed at young teenagers I was hooked from the start. The characters are so strong and she introduces a side to the Viking's I'v...moreAlthough this book is aimed at young teenagers I was hooked from the start. The characters are so strong and she introduces a side to the Viking's I've never seen before in historical fiction and that is the many feuds they have between each other as individual raiders and leaders, the cost of family blood feuds over generations and also the little known impact Norse raiders had on the natives of Africa and the beginnings of the slave trade in black people. The over all tale is truly captivating and thrilling, you fall in love with the good people and grow to hate the bad ones. The ending is a bit of a shock and to be honest very sad but it is a good climax to the themes of belonging, family love and fate woven throughout. I would definitely recommend it to any young teenager to read to get a good first taste of the life of vikings without too much gore and violence.(less)
This book is such a labour of love, passion and interest nearly every page is crammed with details surrounding the characters, the time, the setting t...moreThis book is such a labour of love, passion and interest nearly every page is crammed with details surrounding the characters, the time, the setting that it is impossible not to be drawn into this fuedal mystery and quest for vengence set near the end of the 10th century under the reign of King Athelstan. Over all not a great deal occurs just following the character from one trial of persecution, betrayal and fight from survival to the next but there are some moments within it all where peace is felt for the reader not just the character and we get a glimpse of the possible happiness and love and friendship found within those living through this rather turbulent period. The reader also becomes witness to how a brotherhood of men can be forged in the spilt blood of survival, the strength of alliance and the quest for justice which is quite unqiue for in other historical novels involving vikings or anglo-saxons this brotherhood is often discovered in battles on distant continents and at sea on their travels - this all takes place in this book on land and within the small feuding kingdoms of Mercia and North Cumbria. In summary this is one giant saga of complex and dazzling proportions depicting how family feuds in that era just don't effect those directly involved but those of their ancestors and how the cause of these blood feuds which tear families and communities apart can often end up repeating itself and all through the quest for vengence against an offence that took place many, many years before. The beauty of this saga being told is not that it focuses on majorly big important historical events (apart from the ending) but it shows how life goes on around those turning points in history and really shows in gritty and neat detail how the lives of the common people from thrall to earldoreman are effected and are drawn into these pivoting points of the past. This book is one that will be enjoyed by fans of the Anglo-Saxon or Viking era but I must warn you it is a lengthy read but by the end it will prove worth it. Just hope the sequel in this chronicle series can stand up to the benchmark the first has claimed.(less)
This books is a brilliant portrayal of the world of the old Norse Gods clashing and interacting with our modern secular one and it cleverly brings you...moreThis books is a brilliant portrayal of the world of the old Norse Gods clashing and interacting with our modern secular one and it cleverly brings you into this mix of realms with the character who only became deceased and turned Valkyrie 3 months ago. It also focuses not on the greater known gods like Odin, Thor and Loki although they are involved in the overall adventure but on the more minor and genuinely more interesting characters of this pantheon of Hermod, a small wandering God and of course my all time favourite - Valkyries. The story revolves around the impending doom of Ragnarok, Hermod's bitter luck after failing to bring Baldur back from the dead clutches of Hel and Mist (formermly human deceased) a relatively new and modern valkyrie who actually resists the role she has been given in exitsence to try and rescue her sister also from Hel's domain. The characters are brilliant to relate to and the rising chaos in the world (set in America) really helps invision what Ragnarok would be like if it occured in our modern world. The ending of the over all book is very unique and although it goes against the very mythology involved it actually suits it for the Gods like the viking people who worshipped them are anything if not survivors. It is a great novel (albeit it small) to read for fans of vikings, norse mythology and urban/paranormal fantasy.
As a writer trying to write a story using the same range of characters (not exactly the same characters in this one) and also setting such an old faith in a modern world I was pleasently impressed to see how well it would actually work and how easy the reader would except if it makes a good story that grips you from chapter to chapter. Hopefully one day there will be room in the literary world for Valkyries and these great old gods, characters of legends and myths to overcome the firm base of Vampires and the growing presence of Angels in young adult novels.(less)
MD Lachlan is proving to have as deep an imagination as Tolkein showed in Lord of the Rings, with his mind blowing sequel to Wolfsangel with Fenrir.
Th...moreMD Lachlan is proving to have as deep an imagination as Tolkein showed in Lord of the Rings, with his mind blowing sequel to Wolfsangel with Fenrir.
The sequel may still feature more brotherhoods of Vikings but he has taken the reader into the world of the early medieval French dukes, knights and princesses and most notable of all, monks and prophets. But to add a little to the rabble of viking armies around Paris MD Lachlan introduces some fascinating characters of Munin and Hugnin, a brother and sister who worship the All Father and his madness through some very dark magic.
The over all story is riddled with patches of shadow, twilight, horror and glorious blood but in such a way as to not be overwhelming but always used to make particular characters at particular moments in the plot develope into something the reader never ever expects. And that is the true beauty of this dark tale of mad gods, powerful runes and never ending love - that even though the reader may think they know how things will work out having read Wolfsangel but Lachlan always proves those expectations to be false. The reincarnations of the two brothers, one wolfman, another werewolf are never who you expect them to be and in this one we get the suprise of the original Witch returning in a very unlikely place and it goes even more so for the form Odin chooses to live and die by.
My favourite parts of this new blood fuelled saga has to the scenes where certain character evoke the power of Odin's runes. Lachlan describes them so beautifully I can't help but wonder that the way he describes them is the same magic that flows within his imagination. The way the runes are called upon and used seems so natural it strengthens the readers mind view of the scene. And what makes it even more special is that such runes weren't used in such ways in the first book but in this sequel it seems all aspects of the doomed gods and lovers and the magic that binds them together has increased ten fold with dramatic and stunning effects in the ficitonal world and upon the reader.
And on that note the only thing left to say is that MD Lachlan has succeeded in making a sequel that dwarfs the original, showing the strength of his imagination in more ways than one. And making it a good bet that the third in this series will undoubtedly be fantastic.(less)
This book is the most gripping, thrilling, action packed, storytelling genius with a big dollop of fantastic norse mythology I have ever come across. S...moreThis book is the most gripping, thrilling, action packed, storytelling genius with a big dollop of fantastic norse mythology I have ever come across. Set in an ice-age pending modern world, in the northern part of england, you follow the trials and tribulations of ex-soldier Gid and his unusual friend Abortion as they follow a tip off of a group wanting such soldiers no questions asked on past military history for a few weeks of extremely well paid work. For Gid this could provide him with a chance to repair his life with his ex wife and distant son or so he hopes, until Abortion high on drugs gets behind the wheel during a blizzard and crashes the car - badly. What happens from that incident is the start of a true epic saga-porportion tale that brings modern warfare and technology beutifully together with the strength, support, mystery and magic of the Asier Gods as they fight the changing times and impeding Ragnarok. Each chapter is short, punchy and enchants you through once adventure and encounter to another, the Gods themselves and the mortal soldiers under their employment make an excellent cast and the storytelling is of such brilliant quality that you can't help but let your imagination portray the words into a million dollar movie in your mind. Boy it does make excellent material for one and who knows if the Thor movie makes a good impression perhaps more of mankind will look to these heroic gods with human hearts for more tales of strength, love, passion, loyalty, cunning and most importantly survival. This is a definite must read for any fan of norse mythology and for those who dabble in a bit of sci-fi - this is the one book that blends sci-fi and fantasy as beautifully as the horizon of sky meets the vast expanse of the sea. (less)
This is a suprisingly short novel (e-novel) but is action packed from the start. You don't even get chance to catch your breath once these raiding ban...moreThis is a suprisingly short novel (e-novel) but is action packed from the start. You don't even get chance to catch your breath once these raiding bands of vikings come across a strange new land in a storm before you meet what is best described by Miekle himself as a Yeti but these are Yeti's that are cruel and bloodthirsty and after the accidental murder of a female with young the Vikings incurr their beastial wrath and rage and fear fueld chaos ensues. The adventure over all revolves around the characters of Tor and Skald, the first being a typical honourable and strong viking young man, the second being his wyrd seeing, beserk-fighting friend and their lives and fates become entwined in the gory mess created by the Yeti or Alma attacks as old legends come true and they must use all their strength and wisdom to survive a legend that does not have a happy ending. I did feel the ending was a bit rushed and not dramatised enough but with the excitement of the rest of the novel with its short punchy chapters pushing you along with the characters struggle it doesn't make too much of a disappointment.(less)