Another superbly brilliant historical adventure with Uhtred and our favourite historical heroine Athelflaed. Lots of battles, intrigue, danger and surAnother superbly brilliant historical adventure with Uhtred and our favourite historical heroine Athelflaed. Lots of battles, intrigue, danger and surprises especially at the end. This book has a particular hint of the older Uhtred in term of reflection on the events taking place. Very much looking forward to the Dark Warriors sequel out later this year as the Vikings make even more trouble for both Mercians and West Saxons alike. After reading this I will be amazed if Uhtred survives to attend the Battle of Brannaburgh. Which as he says in historical comments is the key defining moment for England as newly united country....more
Wow! Lost Sun was Sorens tale. Strange Maid was Signys. And Astrid aka Idunn finally has hers. And what an adventure. It was also exciting with severaWow! Lost Sun was Sorens tale. Strange Maid was Signys. And Astrid aka Idunn finally has hers. And what an adventure. It was also exciting with several new key characters as well as meeting Signy and Soren again. We also go even deeper into the wonderful world Tessa has created. Like every good storyteller you may think you know how it all works from book one and book two but book three is always expected to blow the other two out of the water and it did. So much so I finished half of this book in 3-4hrs of solid reading in one evening. I literally could not put it down....more
WOW! Just when you think Raine and Co have survived enough drama, magical mayhem and mainupulation from those Norns they can go and surprise you and nWOW! Just when you think Raine and Co have survived enough drama, magical mayhem and mainupulation from those Norns they can go and surprise you and not in a nice way.
Yet Raine herself becomes the ultimate surprise weapon using her new powers as a Seeress combined with her Valkyrie runes and a Norn's dagger she becomes the champion of all - quite literally.
There are still as always fantastic moments that the reader experiences whether deep in the action or a quiet moment between Raine and Torin.
Now that Raine knows exactly how the gameboard of the fate of the world and the impending Ragnarok are set - it is leading to a climax of all climaxes in the next book.
Yet again I finished this book in 1 whole day because the drama, the action, the secrets, the thrills, the danger and the excitement made it impossiblYet again I finished this book in 1 whole day because the drama, the action, the secrets, the thrills, the danger and the excitement made it impossible to put down. It was so much fun to see the world again through Cora and I am now definitely more in love with Echo than Torin which surprised me. The plot and story was really well written and I must admitt my heart weeps each time a new threat surfaces to threaten the peace and happiness of Cora/Echoe and Raine/Torin but seeing how much these guys will go through to protect the ones they love and make them happy is always the silverlining in each dark chapter. I also love the way this unrelated family of Immortals, Valkyries, Grimnirs and even Witches are forming together through each danger and how both Cora and Raine are developing their powers and fighting to remain true to themselves no matter what. I also really like the new character introduced in Souls and I do hope he becomes a member of this unqiue band of friends and lovers. Cant wait to read Witches - I have thoroughly enjoyed reading every book in this series....more
Oh. My. Word. First Torin is my dream male Valkyrie and now Echo! Albeit not a true Valkyrie. Two hot characters and another action packed, thrilling,Oh. My. Word. First Torin is my dream male Valkyrie and now Echo! Albeit not a true Valkyrie. Two hot characters and another action packed, thrilling, exciting and heart stopping storyline. A whole new side to the mythical norse world that Ednah has created is revealed and just like Cora we have to decide whether it is simply black and white between Valkyries and Grimnirs, friends and enemies or if there is the smallest chance that love can be found in the grey areas. Whether good can be found in the darkest places. I enjoyed this new spin off and tie-in with the Runes series I finished it in one day! Started it at 6 and read it through to midnight only stopping for tea. A highly recommended read for current and new fans. It is not only refreshing to explore this world through the eyes of different characters but it also adds a new layer of imagination and connection between reader and story. Plus for those who didnt fall in love with Torin, Ednah has another chance to sieze their hearts in the dark and alluring Echo....more
This is quite a saga tale for it covers Harold Godwinson's youth, everything inbetween right up until his death at Hastings, not long after he becomesThis is quite a saga tale for it covers Harold Godwinson's youth, everything inbetween right up until his death at Hastings, not long after he becomes King. It also gives attention to the many other historical figures of the many years it covers, such as Godwin himself, Tostig, Edward the Confessor, William, Duke of Normandy, King Harald of Norway, a variety of Bishops and other clergymen. It is well told but by the end of the novel I felt quite drained from it all - the reader is plunged deep into the world of the time and follows closely so many characters and key events leading up to 1066 I do think it might have been better off as a trilogy of books. The detail was superb and you do feel genuine care and concern for the characters, even when you know what might befall them. I do think the length and breadth of the novel spoiled the experience slightly but on the whole it was an enjoyable read....more
A surprisingly short fantasy but one that has a gripping storyline and very intriguing characters. A very vivid world is created and each chapter wasA surprisingly short fantasy but one that has a gripping storyline and very intriguing characters. A very vivid world is created and each chapter was short, punchy, drama driven and always left you wanting to read on. I now a full fan and look forward to reading House of Ravens next....more
Although it is an incredibly interesting and conflict filled period Vincent write about as many dont know of the history and influence of the Hiberno-Although it is an incredibly interesting and conflict filled period Vincent write about as many dont know of the history and influence of the Hiberno-Norse vikings the books is incredibly uncomfortable to read. The main problem being that its written in 1st person but the reader is almost shackled inside Amleths world view. The whole world is described including the dialogue of other characters. As a reader we never actually "hear" or even see on the page the very words characters use which is incredibly distancing and restrictive. Especially with key characters the story is about such as Jarl Ragnar and even Amleths wife Aud. I tried my best to get engaged with the story and characters but I couldnt even read half of it. This peculiar and awkward style of writing and restrictive point of view made it feel much like a chore and even made it boring. I have read many historical novels which are told in 1st person which dont effect the reader in this way - the great Bernard Cornwell's Uhtred series to name a well known one. I believe the author should study and observe how successful 1st person writing should be done before publishing the sequel that has amazingly been agreed to follow....more
The 4th Valkyrie novel seems more action packed then the 3rd. As it is all battle-stations as Bryn is left managing the armies of Ulfr and Valkyrie alThe 4th Valkyrie novel seems more action packed then the 3rd. As it is all battle-stations as Bryn is left managing the armies of Ulfr and Valkyrie all the while monitoring disturbing developments in Midgard Things start to unravel quickly with the kidnapping of Thor, the wounding of Fenrir, a sneaky detour with Loki and much, much more. We get to see Bryn take on the power and responsibility she needs to prevent Ragnarok and as always her closes warrior allies and best friends are on hand to assist in many daring challenges, confrontations and missions. The last third of the book takes a very tense and dramatic twist as Bryn finally catches the Trickster unawares as well as uncovering more of his sinister schemes. Will she be able to stop him before he is too late? You will have to read it to find out. An enjoyable read, more like a mythical 007 adventure than a norse fantasy due to the plot development but one to still read to see how your favourite characters survive....more
This is Giles Kristian's first fully published short fiction and fits snuggly before God of Vengeance which leads ultimately to the Raven Trilogy. TheThis is Giles Kristian's first fully published short fiction and fits snuggly before God of Vengeance which leads ultimately to the Raven Trilogy. The title is the most un-nordic of his viking historical fiction so far and the cover immediately made me think of haunted woods, siedr magic and angry volva's cackling on a stormy night. But it also made me think of a very important question - what could possibly be a 'terror' to a warrior-like northman? Who is willing to sail the seas without guarantee of his return? Who is ready to charge into battle without guarantees he will live to see victory? My answers were shame, dishonour, betrayal - more inphysical things, virtues that all the northmen held close to their hearts. I am not entirely sure if I am happy or not that these virtues weren't explored within The Terror, although they do feature heavily within his earlier Viking books. The Terror - is a tale with a twist in the tale and a cover and title that don't fully match with the content within I feel. Without giving too much away the tale is about Sigurd the Lucky's (God of Vengeance/Raven)father, Jarl Harald and is a tale from the days when he was young and trying to prove himself. It involves a most unusual challenge which sets him and his friends against something indeed called 'The Terror' but I will leave it for curious readers to discover what the Terror actually is/was. There is some battles, fighting, danger, excitement and thrills and quite a surprising amount of nudity in a way most readers wouldn't expect. The language as always with Giles is evocative, enchanting and well-crafted but as a reader who quickly devoured his earlier Viking works The Terror left me a bit empty - it didn't make a huge impact. Whether that's due to the nature of it being a short story or because all in all the story was fairly straight-lined, also perhaps due its compact nature. But for readers new to him, his world, his characters and his talent I believe it makes a good enough taster of what readers can discover in the books following this little prequel....more
Wow! Hereward simply can't be beaten and can survive seas, shipwreck, desert, ambush, imprisonment, power plotting and more! It is out of the fire ofWow! Hereward simply can't be beaten and can survive seas, shipwreck, desert, ambush, imprisonment, power plotting and more! It is out of the fire of William the Conqueror and into the bubbling cauldron of rival family factions, power politics and a dagger hiding not just behind every corner but in every word and look. Another heart pounding adventure. Looking forward to what happens next... It is good to meet the familiar faces of the original trilogy and observe how they face off against the many challenges in this new journey and new land from elements to people, both on land and on sea. It is also really exciting to meet new fresh faces, both friend and foe alike and I especially like a particular female character that features repeatedly in Hereward and the gang's new adventures. This fourth book continues to show that James Wilde is a master at starting off several strands of storyline and weaving them all into an patterned storytelling that grips the reader with each turn of the page and is a pattern that shifts like the sands so the reader can never predict or dare guess what will happen next. Each chapter packs a punch, a surprise, a delight, occasional relief but being replaced by more drama and intrigue than the tales of Hereward vs Normans. And the best thing is.... this is just the beginning for Hereward and the Gang - happily ever after doesn't exist for warriors of a conquered country, strangers in a strange land, where deciet is as common as water and where their famous struggle in England means nothing to the nobles of the Empire or the Varangian Guard....more
An incredibly refreshing and quite reinvigorating retelling of the norse gods and their legends. Learnt many new details about the Gods and their evenAn incredibly refreshing and quite reinvigorating retelling of the norse gods and their legends. Learnt many new details about the Gods and their events as well as recountered familiar with legends from a new aspect....more
A very pleasant retelling of a world famous Viking warrior with some beautiful illustrations and some fascinating facts and illustrations of artefactsA very pleasant retelling of a world famous Viking warrior with some beautiful illustrations and some fascinating facts and illustrations of artefacts to further enhance the story. Perfect for young boys....more
If you haven't read any of these Robin Hood novels - go away and read them.
If you have read them - be prepared. You may have thought that Alan went thIf you haven't read any of these Robin Hood novels - go away and read them.
If you have read them - be prepared. You may have thought that Alan went through a hellish ordeal of battle and war in Holy Warrior. You may have thought that Alan and Robin were remarkably lucky to escape and survive in Grail Knight well you will need some calm pills or a fan to cope with the huge amount of high levels of gripping action unlike any other that will increase your stress levels with each life-or-death battle that Alan and Robin must face. Often on a personal and emotional level.
And as the title says it does involve a specific castle and as the cover shows it is going to involve and does a battle not just of sword but of stone and arrows and missiles and fire and a weapon that I have never experienced as deeply as in this book - hunger. If you don't appreciate every litte bit of food you get to eat in the present day compared to the fare Alan and Robin and an army survive on - well all I can say is read it again when on an empty stomach.
Thankfully it is not just a story full of battles but about loyalty, kingship, comrades in arms and honour in the face of all things.
It is another masterfully crafted tale and a fantastic read. Cant wait to see where Robin and Alan go next and whether we will finally encounter the famous beginnings of the Baron's rebellion and the Magna Carter.......more