Monday, June 2, 2014

REVIEW - Iron Song (The Nephilim Chronicles)

Travis Ludvigson’s Iron Song (The Nephilim Chronicles) is a compelling story, with engaging characters that create an enjoyable, page-turning experience.  Even if you’re not familiar with the Viking Siege of Paris in 885, Ludvigson provides the right balance of historical narrative and first person account to clarify the events.

Do you have a moment to talk
about our lord and savior Odin?
Ludvigson’s historical fantasy revolves around a Danish warrior Soren Gormson, an unabashed warrior and “berserker” in the classic sense.  When Soren, as a young man, finds himself washed ashore in enemy territory, he finds within himself the very spirit of the feared Danish warriors. 

Even in the late 9th Century, life was not simple.  Soren’s skill as a warrior earn him the favor of his adopted father and Jarl, Gorm, but the enmity of his adopted brother Knudt.  In addition, Soren, who earns the literal favor of Odin, the All Father, finds himself enmeshed in a battle with the Christians, whose faith seems unshakable.  These layers of storytelling, leading up to the historical events of the Second Siege of Paris were highly reminiscent of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories, in a very good way.  Readers may find some of the earlier, unexplained events, puzzling.  Even when the fantasy elements are introduced, these aren’t fully resolved, although they will make more sense in retrospect.  That shouldn’t deter anyone from reading.

Ludvigson has the ability to create a pacing and flow in Iron Song (The Nephilim Chronicles) that will engage most readers.  He brings to life Soren’s story and provides interesting twists and turns, weaving together historical and fantasy genres in a near seamless tapestry.

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