Second of the excellent Craw series, Lachlan continues his unusual historical fantasy liberally laced with Nordic myths as Gods, clothed as regular humans walk the earth. Paris is under siege by several different Viking armies and only the delivery of Count Eudes’s sister, Lady Aelis will placate them. Believing Aelis is destined to determine if King Sigfrid is the latest reincarnation of Odin, the Vikings won’t take no for an answer yet Count Eude is loath to hand her over. It soon becomes a moot point as a wolfman who believes he is Fenrir reincarnate and Odin’s sworn adversary spirits Aelis out of the city while Saint Jehan of St. Germain is snatched from court. Aelis, Saint Jehan and the half-crazy wolfman cross paths with Sorcerer Munin and a collection of other dark characters as this intense, dark tale unfolds and they try to reach Aldeigjuborg.
Readers familiar with Wolfsangel will recognize the characters of Adisla, Vali and Feilig reincarnated but there are surprises in store when it comes to guessing who is who. The squeamish will not enjoy a few of the scenes that include disfigurement and cannibalism yet these are not added simply as gratuitous violence as they are part of Lachlan’s world building. The pace is steady right up to the end and combined with the excellent character development, battles and surprises, this series delivers enough sword and sorcery to keep you coming back for more.
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