NORSE FANTASY SERIES REVIEWS
Here you can find reviews and information about Norse Fantasy series. We have started out with two modern re-tellings of the Blood Duo by Melvin Burgess. Below that we have reviews of the first two novels in the Craw Trilogy by M.D. Lachlan.
This is a very dark and frightening portrayal of what may well happen to British society if the government flees, gangs rule and technology goes too far.
Yet it is woven smoothly into an age old norse tale of two feuding families, the agendas of the old gods, the pursuit of revenge and how the quest for peace is never free from pain and sorrow.
The characters are all mainly over teenage years yet the struggles each goes through makes them more adult in mind then they appear on the skin.
It is a very good thriller and adventure tale as the saga should be although in some places it does slow down a bit if only to allow the reader to emmerse themselves ever deeper into the grim reality of the world portrayed in the book but the ending is as dramatic as befits the great saga that is being retold. Melvin really has brought fresh blood and misery to this norse legend.
Available on Amazon.com here: Bloodtide (Puffin Teenage Books)
The story of Sigurd really does begin quickly and Melvin doesn't waste too much time going over what's happened since Siggy became King Sigmund in Bloodtide but the basic gist is there is still great evil in the former United Kingdom. That comes in the form of a mutant being sterotyped as the dragon Fafnir and his hoard of gold is not just gold but all the many bizarre and sinister technologies of this dystopian world set in the future.
Over all it is a thrilling adventure story, the action never really stops although I did feel it lag a bit during the time Sigurd spent in 'Hel' with Bryony (aka Brighild the fallen valkyrie) right up to when he met the Nibblong siblings. Melvin did manage to keep the wicked mother-in-law in the plot which ultimately leads to the tragic love triangle.
Yet the only real difficulty I had with the story was the way he portrayed Sigurd's character from half way through to the end, it almost became Jesus-like with the millions of people crowding to see him and the way Sigurd kept questioning his own life, his feelings, his past etc. It just didn't seem much like a dragon slaying warrior king-reborn to me but perhaps like Jesus was in the garden before he was betrayed.
But either way yet again Melvin has managed to reinvigerate with fresh gore and woe this tragic norse legend of family betrayal, love and misfortune all because of a cursed ring.
Available on amazon.com here: Bloodsong
Wolfsangel (Book 1 of the Craw Trilogy)
The Viking king Authun leads his men on a raid against an Anglo-Saxon village. Men and women are killed indiscriminately, but Authun demands that no child be touched. He is acting on prophecy-a prophecy that tells him that the Saxons have stolen a child from the gods. If Authun, in turn, takes the child and raises him as an heir, the child will lead his people to glory.
But Authun discovers not one child, but twin baby boys. After ensuring that his faithful warriors, witnesses to what has happened, die during the raid, Authun takes the children and their mother home, back to the witches who live on the troll wall. And he places his destiny in their hands.
So begins a stunning multivolume fantasy epic that will take a werewolf from his beginnings as the heir to a brutal Viking king down through the ages. It is a journey that will see him hunt for his lost love through centuries and lives, and see the endless battle between the wolf, Odin, and Loki, the eternal trickster, spill over into countless bloody conflicts from our history and our lives.
This is the myth of the werewolf as it has never been told before and marks the beginning of an extraordinary new fantasy series.
Available on Amazon.com: Wolfsangel
This is a very darker depiction of the world the Vikings believed they lived in where magic was possible, witches lived in troll mountains, dying in battle was an honour and where the prophecies really did foretell events of the future. This epic tale begins with one such prophecy where Viking King Authen must follow the prophecies of the Witches to gain an heir to his throne. Yet like all magical forces, nothing ever happens the way it's meant to. In a daring raid that sees the death of his best and loyal warriors, King Authen finds himself not just with one boy but with two and it is the choices made at that moment that sees the boys split apart, live very different and conflicting lives that will see families, friends and even nations split apart as the endless battle between Odin, the god who has an endless hunger for magic and his nemesis, Fenris the Wolf (who will ultimately swallow Odin whole at Ragnarok-The-End-of-All-Things. It is a great piece of Norse fantasy set in a quite realistic Viking world with a fantastic twist on the origins of the Werewolf.
Fenrir (Book 2 of the Craw Trilogy)
The Vikings are laying siege to Paris. They want the Count's sister, in return they will spare the rest of the city. As houses on the banks of the Seine burn, a debate rages in the Cathedral on the walled island of the city proper. Can the Count really have ambitions to be Emperor of the Franks if he doesn't do everything he can to save his people? Can he call himself a man if he doesn t do everything he can to save his sister? His conscience demands one thing, the state demands another. The Count and the church are relying on the living saint, the blind and crippled Jehan of St. Germain, to enlist the aid of God and resolve the situation for them. But the Vikings have their own gods, and outside their camp, a terrifying brother and sister, priests of Odin, have their own agenda. An agenda of darkness and madness. And in the shadows a wolfman lurks. M. D. Lachlan's stunning epic of mad Gods, Vikings, and the myth of Fenrir, the wolf destined to kill Odin at Ragnarok, is a compelling mix of bloody horror, unlikely heroism, dangerous religion, and breathtaking action.
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.
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.
Available on Amazon.com: Fenrir
You can read some of my writing work at:
You can follow me on Twitter @soulchaserbecky.
Want to adventure throught the lands of the Vikings? The height of the Vikings is an amazing period of time and there is a lot of great fiction that is based on historical facts from that period and place. Rebecca Wilson has written a guide to the genre and to some of the best works in the genre.
If you are fascinated by the subject of Vikings you should check out her blog at: http://www.soulchaserbecky.blogspot.com/
You can follow her on Twitter @soulchaserbecky.
Related Fantasy Guides: