To the Danes, he is skraelingr; to the English, he is orcneas; to the Irish, he is fomoraig. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. He is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind–the last in a long line of monsters who have plagued humanity since the Elder Days.
Drawn from his lair by a thirst for vengeance against the Dane who slew his brother, Grimnir emerges into a world that’s changed. A new faith has arisen. The Old Ways are dying, and their followers retreating into the shadows; even still, Grimnir’s vengeance cannot be denied.
Taking a young Christian hostage to be his guide, Grimnir embarks on a journey that takes him from the hinterlands of Denmark, where the wisdom of the ancient dwarves has given way to madness, to the war-torn heart of southern England, where the spirits of the land make violence on one another. And thence to the green shores of Ireland and the Viking stronghold of Dubhlinn, where his enemy awaits.
But, unless Grimnir can set aside his hatreds, his dream of retribution will come to nothing. For Dubhlinn is set to be the site of a reckoning–the Old Ways versus the New–and Grimnir, the last of his kind left to plague mankind, must choose: stand with the Christian King of Ireland and see his vengeance done or stand against him and see it slip away?
Scott Oden’s A Gathering of Ravens is an epic novel of vengeance, faith, and the power of myth.
Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore £15.09 hardback
Amazon UK £19.35 hardback
This is how you write history and fantasy well!! In this book the author has successfully blended both aspects to create a wonderfully powerful and epic tale that swept me along as a reader and immersed me in a brutal, ancient world.
Grimnir is the last of his kind – an Orc. And he’s not a pleasant Orc! He’s on a quest to destroy those who destroyed his kind and along the way he stumbles across Njall and Etain – one he leaves for dead along the roadside, and Etain he forces to go with him to show him the way to England so he can reach his destination and gain his revenge.
The relationship between Grimnir and Etain is a fascinating one – one born out of hate but the more time they spend together, the more they seem to rely on each other and become each others’ protectors so to speak!
This is a fast paced adventure which is often brutal and dark, but just gives you the whole picture of the kind of terrain, foes and battles they had to face along the way. They also meet a number of amazing characters along the way – some help, some hinder!
I also enjoyed the fact that most chapters were quite short! I often find with some fantasy books that I’m daunted by the length of each chapter and am often put off by this, but the way this is written it gives you a chance to absorb each section, time to take stock before you move on!
I thoroughly enjoyed my adventure with these characters – the history, the myths, the battles – and found it to be a pulsating read and highly recommend