A king, old and frail.
A challenger filled with vengeance. A kingdom’s fate at stake.
Sven the Boar is Jarl of Ribe once more. He and Charles try to settle into their new lives, but trouble and treachery are never too far away.
Tormented by recent events, Charles struggles to adapt to life amongst the heathens that mock his Christian God and the arrival of a priest from the south only makes things worse.
Meanwhile, Sven is burdened with the responsibilities of being Jarl again and protecting his grandson from those hunting him.
When forced into an alliance with King Horik’s nephew who is raising an army to challenge his uncle for the throne of Denmark, Sven makes an important decision.
As the threat of war becomes real, Sven rides to fight a battle that will change the destiny of Denmark.
But whilst he fights, will Charles remain safe or are other games in play that threaten him?
Having read Odin’s Betrayal, the first book in this series, I was keen to see what was next so was pleased to be asked to review this book for Donovan Cook’s blog tour.
In book two, it pretty much picks up from where Odin’s Betrayal ended – with Charles struggling to be a practising Christian amongst followers of the Norse religions. Meanwhile, his grandfather, Sven must cope with a town who won’t accept his leadership and the continuing threat of attack with enemies at every turn. He feels the gods are mocking him. The only thing that matters to him is defending his grandson which brings its own challenges.
In this second instalment, it feels like a transitional plot as in it feels like a second novel which is good news for me. It means that there’s a third book coming. The book is anchored around certain historical events, which the author discusses in the foreword of the novel, which lends a degree of inevitability to it, but the plot doesn’t suffer for this. In fact, having the historical context lends a richness in the story. Overall, it increases the depth of characters, especially the supporting cast.
The plot moved at a great pace. It’s an enjoyable read that kept me wanting to keep turning the page. If you are new to this series, you could read this novel first as there is enough exposition to give you an idea of what is going on but, as with all series, reading book one could only add to this great story.
I enjoyed the first book a lot and enjoyed this second instalment even more. I look forward to seeing what comes next. I’m a fan of this author and this series. If you’re a fan of historical fiction and Norse history, I recommend.
About Donovan Cook –
Donovan Cook is the author of the well-received Ormstunga Saga series which combines fast-paced narrative with meticulously researched history of the Viking world, and is inspired by his interest in Norse Mythology.
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.