Release Date: 05/04/12
When Tudor explorers returned from the New World, they brought back a name out of half-forgotten Viking legend: skraylings. Red-sailed ships followed in the explorers’ wake, bringing Native American goods – and a skrayling ambassador – to London. But what do these seemingly magical beings really want in Elizabeth I’s capital?
Mal Catlyn, a down-at-heel swordsman, is seconded to the ambassador’s bodyguard, but assassination attempts are the least of his problems. What he learns about the skraylings and their unholy powers could cost England her new ally – and Mal Catlyn his soul.
I love a new author and one that brings mystery, intrigue as well as a fantasy flavour is usually one that I can’t wait to get started on. Here, Anne brings Nordic myth alongside Elizabethan to life in this no holds barred twisted tail where the price of freedom may be a war that can ill be afforded. Its cleverly plotted, the author brings the time period to life and when you add solid prose alongside pace together it’s a tale that really hits on so many levels.
Sadly, that said, I did have a few problems with it such as connecting with the lead character which I never felt that I truly did throughout the whole title which made this a bit of a struggle. That said however, I do feel that perhaps that now that the author has a firmer footing in her world, that future releases will fix this. I’ll wait and see.
All in it is a book that was definitely interesting, but without a character to latch onto that helps flesh it out emotionally, then I really have problems giving it the full treatment that such careful plotting deserves.