Odin’s Wolves marks the conclusion to the Raven series that I have so loved and enjoyed. And wow, was this an amazing ending!
“Glory is the prize that can never be burned, stolen by anyone or lost”
Odin’s Wolves somehow upstaged Blood Eye and Sons of Thunder in terms of tension, emotion, fear and purely epic action sequences!
Giles Kristian’s prose was the same as ever. Efficient, fluid, enchanting. His writing style just so perfectly summarises Raven’s personality, and depicts it in such a wonderful manner.
Odin’s Wolves managed to further the characterisation of this awesome band of warriors once again. From Sven the Red, to Jarl Sigurd and of course, the young Raven, the one whose story I have followed. Through the highs and lows. Trials and tribulations. His character had developed so much and has now been cemented as one of the best written characters I’ve had the pleasure to read.
Kristian’s skill at writing action sequences is unquestionable, as always. From duels to the large scale conflicts, and I promise you, there are some CRAZY battles. All are written differently with their own unique and new perspective, completely immersing me into the conflict every single time. I just cannot get enough of this!
An element that made Odin’s Wolves and the Raven series on the whole incredible is Kristian’s obvious supreme knowledge in the historical subject. With subtle mentions of gods and traditions, it is impossible not to become a part of this story.
“The blade gets dull, if we don't use it”
I know I have not done justice in this review. But I hope I have managed to convey some of my love for this series. If Norse history intrigues you or fascinates you, please do read this! Just an amazing ending, marking the series as being consistently brilliant.
Sons of Thunder was a brilliant second instalment in the Raven series. Many series I have read have suffered at the hands of the “second book disease”, where the quality plummets. But not this!
“Have you ever sailed in a longship? Not a stubby, robust knörr laden with trade goods and wallowing like a packhorse across the sea, but a sleek, deathly quick, terror-stirring thing – a dragon ship.”
Sons of Thunder is the second instalment in the Raven historical series by the magnificent Giles Kristian, following a Viking brotherhood that battle with the consistent brutality life throws at them. This follows on soon after the wrapping up of the previous novel. The role of Raven as a narrator in the present time becomes a firmer role, which made this overall a tenser read than the reminiscent nature of a portion of its predecessor. This book was full of goosebumps worthy scenes and brilliant moments.
Kristian’s prose is the same as usual, I’ve learnt to expect it now. Easy, accessible, rich with Norse goodness, and fluid. So easy to listen to on audiobook. Each time I snatch a moment or two, I’m instantly immersed back into this world of sea-faring and warrior exploits.
The Sons of Thunder wondered away from the blusterous British isles, turning towards France and the growing empire of Charlemagne and his Frankish warriors. The new land was presented wonderfully, with a wide array of locations. From the disgusting town of Paris, (far prior to its flourishing days. Definitely not the city of love), to the turmoil of the sea and navigation of a Norse longboat.
“It's difficult to hate a broken man, no matter the previous misdeeds.”
One key standout moment I have to mention is the holmganga. Which means, duel. Sons of Thunder contained one of my favourite duels I have ever read! It was brutal, mesmerising and enchanting! I won’t go further into detail for fear of spoilers….
The cast of characters has increased slightly, but it was mostly spent cementing and expanding those introduced in Blood Eye. Kristian creates a wide diversity of characters each with different unique traits that define them. A wonderful band of warriors!
Overall, Sons of Thunder was everything that I wanted it to be! Brutal, immersive, unique, epic! What more can you ask for? Much as I said in my review of Blood Eye, I think you’ll really enjoy this series if you’re into Norse mythology/history or the Dark Ages.
After finishing Lancelot, I immediately went onto the audiobook of Blood Eye, also by Giles Kristian, from the recommendation of my brother, Ed. I loved it!
“Even the gods have their pride.”
Blood Eye is a historical fiction novel set in 802AD prom the perspective of a teenage boy whose life is swiftly changed as he enters the life of a Norse band of warriors.
First of all, this book is brilliant! Giles Kristian gave such an authentically grim depiction through magnificent world building that was constructed through the infusion of fascinating details that amounted to a wonderful understanding by the end of the novel.
The prose is slick, smooth and easy to read. Much the same as Lancelot. Fantastic in short. Every page seems to glide from one to the next in such a gripping and immersive manner. Couldn’t ask for more,
Kristian does a superb job with characters. In a short amount of time, he manages to introduce a wide range of characters from the Norse raiding band and make them memorable with unique and varied characteristics. From Sven the Red, to Asgot, to Sigurd. And of course, Raven, who has great character growth in this first book in the trilogy.
Osric, later renamed Raven by his new Norse Jarl, offers the coming of age story and growth from innocence and passion that we all love. He is far from perfect, offering a very interesting insight into this aspect of history as the story is told from his recount and perception of the events that take place.
“Fighting with every searing breath. Not for glory. Not for Wessex. But because a mans life is all he has, and he will not let another take it if he has the strength to fight.”
I experienced some battles and action sequences in Lancelot, but in Blood Eye I received far more. And loved every moment of it. Kristian describes each conflict in differentiating manners, disallowing any chance of repetitiveness. From small skirmishes to night raids to shield-walls, Kristian is a master of it all. I just wanted more and more. Another element that I cannot praise enough.
Overall, I hope you can tell that I loved this opening to the Raven series. I adore this period of history, and this book delivered everything I hoped for, and more. Once again I have to thank my brother for the excellent recommendation. I have already started listening to the sequel on audio, having no doubt that it will match its predecessor.
5/5 STARS - No doubt about it