A devastating Viking raid leads Corban on an epic quest – the first in an extraordinary adventure series.
Corban and Mav are twins born to the lord of an Irish coastal farmstead. Mav has the Second Sight, and is her father's favourite; Corban, however, is a deep disappointment. Exiled for refusing his father's command to take up his sword in the name of the High King, he is long gone when the dreadful Viking dragon ships unleash fire and slaughter on his people.
His home destroyed, Corban must embark on an epic quest to save his sister from slavery. From the far coast of Ireland to the occupied village of Dublin, all the way across the sea to the Kingdom of the Danes, Corban is drawn to the trail of his sister, fighting for his life and striving to earn the influence and money he will need to buy her freedom.
In a violent and uncaring world, everything is at stake.
The Soul Thief, first in the Life and Times of Corban Loosestrife series, is perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Samantha Shannon and Giles Kristian.
Praise for The Soul Thief
‘A potent blend of fantasy, history, and romance… a rousing, vivid tale rich with Nordic lore’ Publishers Weekly
‘Elements of romance, mysticism, and suspense are interwoven into one superlative, spine-tingling adventure’ Booklist
‘Holland fleshes out a lively account of the time of Eric Bloodaxe. Recommended’ Library Journal
A bloody Viking raid on an Irish coastal town is the springboard for a nonstop romp through a fictional time of evil sorcery, ruthless kings, fierce pirates, kidnapped heroines, sweet romance and everyday heroes, set against the brutal backdrop of Norse life in feudal times. Ruthless King Bloodaxe of Jorvik abducts the young women of a small Irish village, killing and destroying all else. A young man, Corban, escapes and with the aid of Einar, a Norse workman in the Viking market town of Dubh Linn, sets out for Jorvik to rescue his abducted twin sister, Mav. Meanwhile, in the Jorvik slave market, Mav reveals magical powers that catch the eye of the Lady of Hedeby, a sorceress who buys the girl with an evil plan in mind. On their way to Jorvik, Corban and Einar encounter pirates and vagabonds, and when they arrive they face the deadly threat of Bloodaxe, his sorceress queen Gunnhild a rival of the Lady of Hedeby and his henchmen. Along the way, he falls in love with Benna, a penniless potter with hidden talent. At last he is reunited with Mav, but before he can truly rejoice, the Lady makes him a pawn in her plot to decide the Norwegian throne. The novel's final showdown is a bit hokey but satisfying, and Holland delivers an artful blend of history and fantasy throughout.