Eelyn’s world is war. Raised to fight alongside her Aska clansmen in a generations-old blood feud against the Riki, her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki if she wants to make it back to the fjord after the thaw. But when she begins to see herself in the people she’s been taught to hate, the world Eelyn once knew begins to crumble. And after the village is raided by a ruthless clan many believe to be a myth, Eelyn is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend who has tried more than once to kill her. Together, they must end the blood feud between their clans or watch their people be slaughtered.
A lush, Viking-age inspired fantasy about loyalty, forgiveness, and the definition of family.
MY REVIEW (5 stars)
100% pure Viking awesomeness and a crapload of feels. SO GOOD.
I’ll be honest. I was a little worried about connecting to the heroine. I LOVE badass girls, don’t get me wrong, but it seems every book is throwing us a hard heroine who wants to cut down a bunch of people and not apologize for it, and they often have no heart or redeeming qualities. (And a lot of the times, they are written by men.) I find myself having a hard time rooting for them unless their character arc is extremely compelling. I’m particularly drawn to characters who find other means of strength and power that isn’t in the form of slicing people up and being super mean, lol.
I shouldn’t have been worried. This book blew my every expectation out of the water.
In fact, I connected so deeply with Eelyn – even within the first few pages. For me, that’s rare. I loved everything about her
Eelyn is a warrior who has lost her mother and her brother due to wars with rival clans. In fact, her clan (Aska) has a standing battle with the opposing Riki clan every five years – a battle that claimed her brother’s life. At the beginning of the book, we’re thrown right into that battle five years after she lost him. And despite kicking major ass, she finds herself face to face with a Riki warrior who injures her – except, someone stops her from killing him, and she could have sworn it was her brother.
Yep, she actually sees him, despite thinking he was dead for the past five years. And he was fighting against Aska, her clan – which he would NEVER do. It leaves her wondering whether or not she hallucinated him.
I won’t spoil anything else, so I’ll just say what happens next results in Eelyn ending up in the hands of the rival clan. Go in blind if you can. I didn’t even read the blurb before I dove in, and it made every page a mystery as to what would happen next.
I really can’t rave enough. The prose was gorgeous, and Adrienne Young has a way of taking hold of your heart with her use of language. I’m just in awe.
As usual, I’ll leave you with a list of reasons you should snag this book:
-Epic battle scenes
-Vikings. Are. So. Cool. I mean, cmon. Clan wars? Yes, please.
-You’ll find yourself attached to EVERY CHARACTER
-Fantastic worldbuilding & perfect pacing
-All the feels
-Yes, there’s a perfect smidge of romance that doesn’t detract from the story – it enhances it
-And that romance may or may not be enemies-to-lovers – the best trope ever
-Eelyn is the type of heroine we need more of in literature
So, my point is – read this book, and help me to convince Adrienne to write us another thousand books!
***A special thank you to Wednesday Books for providing me with a gorgeous physical copy in exchange for an honest review!