Every five years, the lowland dwelling Aska and the mountain dwelling Riki must meet in battle because their respective gods had a feud. They fight and die because their gods had a spat generations ago. During the last fighting season, Eelyn watches, horrified, as her brother is stabbed then falls to his death with his assailant into a deep gorge. He is presumed dead and she, her father, and her clan mourn his passing. During this fighting season, she is stunned when she sees her brother fighting alongside their mortal enemy. Surely she is seeing a ghost – or is she? She is wounded, taken prisoner, enslaved and bought by her brother’s adopted brother. The very man who wounded him five years ago. When an even more vicious clan, the Herja, attack the Riki, the Aska and Riki must ban together to defeat this common enemy.
This story is predictable, but that is okay! Inspired by Viking lore and infused with gory battles, this is a really good read that is hard to put down. It is chock full of violence, complex and likeable characters and gorgeous descriptions of the land. Eelyn is both fearsome – popping the eyeball out of a prisoner – and kind. She’s deeply loyal. I eagerly await the next installment. Highly recommend!
eGalley review Publication date 4.24.18