Book Review: Odin’s Betrayal by Donovan Cook

Please join me in welcoming Donovan Cook to Novel Kicks and the blog tour for his novel, Odin’s Betrayal.

Two kingdoms destined for war, one boy caught in the eye of the storm…

Francia AD853

After a failed Viking raid on the Frankish coast over 20-years-ago, Jarl Sven the Boar is forced to leave his only son, Torkel, as a hostage and warned never to raid Francia again or his son will die.

In Hügelburg, a small town in East Francia, Torkel and his 9-year-old son Charles are ambushed at home.

Before dying, Torkel thrusts a package into young Charles’s hands and tells him to flee Francia for Denmark in search of his grandfather Sven the Boar’s protection.

But the man Charles eventually finds is not who he expects, and Charles must put his fate in the hands of a man betrayed by Odin.

Together they must uncover the significance of the package and why the Kings of Francia want Charles dead.


When Charles loses his father, the nine-year-old must find his way to Denmark and locate his grandfather whilst avoiding trackers and traitors.

Before I started reading, I had an expectation that this was going to be a little heavy on the history. However, once I passed the prologue, I discovered it’s led very much by the story and the characters.

You can’t help but feel for young Charles, a boy of danish decent raised in Francia as a Christian, having to turn to those he’s been taught are heathens for his own safety.

He is faced with trials that very much go against his world view and he is forced to learn some hard lessons.

I liked that there were strong female characters. Many of the books in this genre are full of bearded men and testosterone fuelled battles so the inclusion of female characters in pivotal roles was a welcome and believable addition.

The plot is complex enough to keep you engaged but not overly complicated to the point where you need to take a break or double back on yourself. I read the majority of this book in one sitting, not realising I had done.

Odin’s Betrayal is book one in the series and one I certainly recommend. I eagerly await book two.



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. 

He lives in Lancashire and his first title in a new series for Boldwood was published in Spring 2023.

Say hello to Donovan via Facebook, Twitter, and Bookbub.

Odin’s Betrayal was released by Boldwood Books on 11th April 2023. Click to buy on Amazon UK and Waterstones


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Chris Parish

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