I would like thank Netgalley for providing me with an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I have been pondering for the longest time why there aren’t more books in the fantasy genre that incorporate Norse mythology into the story? Besides Neil Gaiman there has been little to no other options that I could find, until I came across Northern Wrath. This book was amazing in several different ways: It incorporates the Viking culture which I have never read before, the Norse Gods are ever present in the story, brutal and bloody battles, a fast moving plot, and the mysteries slowly unraveling until the very last page. Northern Wrath gets very grim rather quickly and is not for the faint of heart. If this sounds right up your alley, let dive in.
Here is the synopsis: A dead man, walking between the worlds, foresees the end of the gods. A survivor searching for a weapon releases a demon from fiery Muspelheim. A village is slaughtered by Christians, and revenge must be taken. The bonds between the gods and Midgard are weakening. It is up to Hilda, Ragnar, their tribesmen Einer and Finn, the chief’s wife Siv and Tyra, her adopted daughter, to fight to save the old ways from dying out, and to save their gods in the process.
We follow several POV chapters but I will talk about the three I feel that are most prevalent to the story. First we have Einer, a fierce warrior and son of the chieftain who suffers from berserker rage. During the rage me goes completely mad with no recollection of what he did nor why he did it. I was hooked after reading his first chapter. Second we have Hilda, desperate to join the other men when they go on the hunt but she is held back by her father. When Hilda discovers that her northern village is being attacked by southern Christians and must take up arms, everything changes and the entire north is thrust into a deadly war not just for her land but for the immortal land as well. The final character left to discuss is Hilda’s father. I won’t get into too much detail pertaining to him because of spoilers and he doesn’t have many chapters, but whenever I came across his chapters I was floored. They were mysterious, creative, and torturous at time. This will all make sense when you read them. Eventually to story turns into a war campaign and their will be blood, chaos, and twist you will not see coming.
The Norse Gods may be dying but they will stop at nothing to change their fate, make unlikely alliances, and backstab anyone in the process. Thilde Kold Holdt writing style can be very descriptive at times especially when describing scenes involving Norse Mythology, but her action scenes were so engrossing and vicious that it turned into a true page turner and I couldn’t put it down. This is a story about the Viking culture mixed with revenge, gods, ancient weapons, and so much more. I can’t express enough how great this debut novel is and I consider it to be among my top five releases of 2020.
Fans of Joe Abercrombie, John Gwynne, and Brian Lee Durfee will love Northern Wrath. If this is the first book in a series of future releases involving the Viking culture and Norse Gods, then count me in ten times out of ten! This is a brilliant novel and I can’t wait for the sequel.
Congratulations of your debut Thilde Kold Holdt. It was a smashing success!