Eyvind can think of no more glorious future than becoming a Wolfskin, a warrior devoted to the service of the mighty war-god Thor. His closest friend, Somerled, a strange and lonely boy, has his own very different ambitions - yet a childhood oath, sworn in blood, binds these two in life-long loyalty. Eyvind and Somerled seem set to follow very different paths: one becoming a fearless servant of the Warfather, the other a scholarly courtier. Then a voyage of discovery, led by Somerled's brother Ulf, brings the two friends together again accompanying a group of settlers to some beautiful islands rumoured to lie across the western sea.
Ulf's new settlement begins in harmony with the native islanders, led by King Engus. But one day, on a trip to a holy place of the Folk, a brutal murder occurs and that peace is shattered. It is now that Eyvind begins to feel the restraining ties of his boyhood oath, and to realize what sort of future Somerled had in mind for himself all those years ago.
'Juliet Marillier is a fine new fantasy writer' Anne McCaffrey
‘An engrossing and enjoyable tale’ Starburst
‘A powerful narrative…a truly rewarding experience’ SFX Magazine
The clash of cultures and the limits of loyalty form the thematic framework of Marillier's compelling new stand-alone fantasy. Readers familiar with the author's Sevenwaters trilogy (Daughter of the Forest, etc.) will feel comfortable with the Dark Ages setting. Young Viking Eyvind dreams of serving the god Thor and the nobleman Ulf as an elite Wolfskin warrior. While training, he's charged with teaching Ulf's prickly younger brother Somerled, and the two become blood brothers, swearing lifelong loyalty. But the oath isn't enough to quiet suspicions about Somerled's ambitions to become a king and the means he might take to accomplish them. The two join Ulf on a voyage to a legendary land, "a place of warm sea currents, of verdant islands and sheltered waterways," home to the peaceful Folk of the Light Islands, ruled by King Engus. Though Engus extends a hand of friendship to the sea rovers, his niece, the young priestess Nessa, has her doubts about the warlike newcomers. When a foreign fever decimates the Folk but leaves the seafarers untouched, the truce begins to unravel. A multilayered plot, intriguing characters and lyrical prose distinguish a novel that, long as it is, never feels padded. Correction:The title of Ed Greenwood's fantasy (Forecasts, Apr. 14) is The Dragon's Doom, not The Dragon's Blood.
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Love this book, it is absolutely amazing
Definitely worth reading