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The Rise of Sigurd Series by Giles Kristian

 

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The Rise of Sigurd Series by Giles Kristian - Reviews by Becky

 

Book 1: God of Vengeance

Norway AD785. A land of petty kingdoms and ambitious men...
    When King Gorm betrays Jarl Harald and puts his family to the sword, he makes a terrible mistake. He fails to kill Harald''s youngest son, Sigurd. Hunted by powerful men and hiding in a sacred fen, Sigurd believes the gods have turned their backs on his family. His kin are dead or captured. His village is attacked and its people taken as slaves. Honour is lost. Yet all men know that Ódin, whose name means frenzy, is drawn to chaos and bloodshed as a raven is to the slaughtered dead -- and Sigurd means to spill blood.


Available on Amazon.com God of Vengeance

 

Becky's Review

Two words: MUST READ. Also BLOODY BRILLIANT and VIKING GOLD even BUY NOW.

Simply Viking fiction in PEAK PRIME condition. If you think the Raven trilogy by Giles before is the best Viking fiction you have ever read - well, prepare to be struck by the power of Mjolnir itself due to the majestic power of Sigurd the Lucky's Saga.

It is dark, it is dirty and yes there is blood. But oh the GLORY and the PASSION and the GUT-GRIPPING storytelling talent will make you enjoy every chapter, paragraph, sentence and individual words. There are some BEAUTIFUL phrases, kennings and images throughout this book.

It was truly amazing to see the origins of the characters from the Raven trilogy, especially that of Sigurd who's life is transformed through treachery and forged by revenge. As much as I loved Sigurd for his steel heart and faith in the Gods I think Olaf might surpass him as a fan favourite simply due to the always delightful common sense norse style that he repeatedly enlightens the young Sigurd with. Yep, vikings can be funny as well as murderous. Young Black Floki is revealed to have an equally harsh life that he fights against.

There are battles, fights, skirmishes and ambushes aplenty in this truly epic nordic quest. With sizzling humour and wit and always lingering behind the words are the whispering of the Old Gods as they urge the Norns to weave a life of chaos which will establish the birth of a hero - forget Uhtred (Cornwell), forget Orn & Crowbone (Low) - Sigurd the Lucky is the name to whisper whenever you think Vikings.

Giles Kristian is a word-smith that has the skaldic powers of all his norwegian ancestors.

The Old Gods will have been awakened by the joy from readers discovering the sword-Norse through such modern sagas. I fear Giles may make Bragi, the god of stories old and new jealous but I am sure Odin, god of battle frenzy will smile for the first time in centuries to see the old flame and ferocity of battle kindle in hearts and the value of honour and loyalty made clear in a world where "every man is an island".

And I dare say that even Freya, Valkyrie Queen and Goddess of love will bless Giles and his family for honouring her in the form of Valgerd - a viking woman without equal.

Thank Mjolnir there will be another 2 tales to fan Sigurd's and Giles's fame beyond shore and sea. Because like any good viking, once they have raided your hearts and 'thought-box' - they will be back! And I for one praise old One-Eye for it.

 

 

Book 2: Winter's Fire

Norway, AD 785 – a vow of vengeance must be kept . . .

Sigurd Haraldarson has proved himself a great warrior . . . and a dangerous enemy.

He has gone a long way towards avenging the murder of his family. And yet the oath-breaker King Gorm, who betrayed Sigurd's father, still lives. And so long as he draws breath, the scales remain unbalanced.

The sacred vow to avenge his family burns in Sigurd's veins, but he must be patient and bide his time. He knows that he and his band of warriors are not yet strong enough to confront the treacherous king. They need silver, they need more spear-brothers to rally to the young Viking's banner – but more than these, they need to win fame upon the battlefield.

And so the fellowship venture west, to Sweden, to fight as mercenaries. And it is there – in the face of betrayal and bloodshed, on a journey that will take him all too close to the halls of Valhalla – that Sigurd's destiny will be forged. There, in the inferno of winter's fire . . .

Available on Amazon.com: Winter's Fire

 

Becky's Review

God of Vengeance was all about - Vengeance. And family and honour and betrayal.
Winter's Fire is about Reputation and Patience and Survival.
Sigurd and the company had some serious big adventures and that did earn Sigurd a reputation and even a nick-name - Odin-Favoured. But Sigurd knows it will take more than this new reputation and the head of a Jarl to have any battle luck against King Gorm. Who will now be even more determined to squash the threat from Sigurd before it becomes serious. So Sigurd and Co head south, away from Gorm's reach to earn more war-fame, silver and loyal sword-norse.... but danger stalks them at every turn.
The adventures that happen in this sequel are more frequent albeit more small in scale compared to previous book. But each twist in the weft and warp of this growing saga shows Giles is still a Master of Kennings and a skilful Skald for keeping the pages turning. We grow even more on the current cast and equally learn to love or hate new characters that enter the tapestry of the tale. I particularly love a brilliant plot line that Giles has dedicated to Sigurd's sister Runa as it matches my favourite aspect of the Vikings. I won't reveal any further details so I don't spoil it.
I would best describe this as a simmering and bubbling sequel that is as enjoyable as the first with gripping beats of drama and tension all the way through.
It is building a great expectation for an epic dramatic finale in Wings of the Storm where the heat of the drama is turned to boiling point. I for one can not wait to see blood spill over the edge of this literary vessel and watch with baited breath to see who survives.

Book Three: Wings of the Storm

Fighting in Sweden for an ambitious warlord, Sigurd Haraldarson and his small but loyal band of oathsworn warriors are winning fame and reputation. But Sigurd knows that to take on his hated enemy, the oath-breaker King Gorm—the man who betrayed his father, a man Sigurd has vowed to kill—he must earn riches enough to build an army. Many believe Sigurd to be Óðin-favored, but his exploits have drawn the eye of another god, too: Loki the Trickster, and when a daring assassination attempt goes wrong, Sigurd finds himself a prisoner of the powerful Jarl Guthrum...

Available on Amazon.com: Wings of the Storm

Becky's Review

I have followed the rise of Sigurd and thus Giles Kristian since 2009. His first Viking trilogy was full of historical action, drama and battles. A truly groundbreak debut that stood proud besides the other greats like Cornwell, Severin and Ludlow.
This being alas his final Viking trilogy, is not just an epic coming of age story of a Viking warlord from the previous trilogy but it also represents and demonstrates an astounding maturity and refinement of Gile's talent.
The landscapes, emotions, d   I have followed the rise of Sigurd and thus Giles Kristian since 2009. His first Viking trilogy was full of historical action, drama and battles. A truly groundbreak debut that stood proud besides the other greats like Cornwell, Severin and Ludlow.
This being alas his final Viking trilogy, is not just an epic coming of age story of a Viking warlord from the previous trilogy but it also represents and demonstrates an astounding maturity and refinement of Gile's talent.
The landscapes, emotions, dialogue, all are now more potent with skaldic craftsmanship that the narrative voice is much like a seidr enchantment than that which is featured. You can not help but read on, turn one more page, finish one more chapter. Truly unputdownable and edge of seat reading.
The ending is worth the wait for the final battle to settle this boiling blood feud between King Gorm and Sigurd does not begin until the final quarter. Sooo many other challenges, dramas, adventures and dangers must be overcome for both Sigurd and Runa. As much as it is Sigurd leading the war cry, I am pleased to see Giles gave Runa a chance for glory and thus her brother doesnt entirely hog the gaze of the gods.
Epic Storytelling is the best way to describe the entire trilogy as a whole and this final book is an amazing testemant for the love Giles must have for the character of Sigurd to have effectively written 6 books about him. It is a fitting tribute and telling of the life and glory-fame of Sigurd and an amazing eternal dedication of Giles's nordic roots.

 


About Rebecca
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.

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