Thursday, 29 June 2017

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: A Gathering of Raven's - Scott Oden

Release Date: 20/06/17
Publisher:  Transworld


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.


I've known Scott's work mainly as Historical Fiction and in more recent times, I had the honour of watching his FB feed to see him asking questions about this story and seeing how fans would like to see it go as well as garnering suggestions which upon reading, brought a tale to the fore that felt realistic, had great action alongside some top notch sequences that took the reader on a journey in historical times but with an Orc as the principle player.

Its well written, I loved the prose and for me, the action sequences really brought the brutality to life in such a way that it felt like a final solution for the last of his kind. Add to this some wonderful twists, support characters that felt rounded enough to be able to accompany the anti hero alongside kick ass plot and I was a more than happy reader. Top notch.

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