Review: Northern Wrath (Book 1 of The Hanged God Trilogy) by Thilde Kold Holdt

Book Details and Links

Author: Thilde Kold Holdt
Publisher: Solaris
Page Count: 700

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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.

Review

For those of you that follow my blog and seen my recent ‘Book Cover Wednesdy’ post you will know just how much I love the cover of Northern Wrath and how i quickly checked out the synopsis and knew instantly that I needed to get my hands on a copy of this debut by Thilde Kold Holdt. 

The cover is an attention hog and I could not take my eyes off it and still struggle now. It begs to be placed front and centre er on your bookshelf. The colours, the axe, the flames burning bright as they wrap around the axe. Gimme, gimme, gimme!

I love daring hero, battle filled, sea faring Viking stories as much as the next fantasy lover and Northern Wrath gives you all that plus some with its fantastically bloody and mythic filled pages. Thilde has done a great job of infusing a little education of Viking beliefs and ways of life throughout the book and I love that we can get a little education along with our entertainment. It’s a two for one that you don’t want to miss out on. 

Now, my review is not all good and I did have a few things that marred my experience while reading Northern Wrath. The first of which is that I had to restart this book after I stopped reading the first time round. I thought I might have been in the wrong mind to enjoy the book to its fullest but I wasn’t. The main problem I had was that the start was really slow and for a 700 page commitment ahead of me I needed to be grab from the go. I feel a lot of readers will be on the same page as me here (pun totally intended 😅). Anyway, I put the book aside for a little and then came back to it with fresh eyes and a clear mind. I was rewarded for my perseverance with a huge story setting battle that screamed all things Viking from the glory of standing shoulder to shoulder with a fellow battle hardened warrior of the shield wall to the skull splitting axes that send the enemy fleeing.

My second issue was that the shifts in POV were a little distracting and confusing at times. These shifts often happen mid-battle and left me a little dazed at times. Maybe this was a clever tactic of the author to immerse us in the fog of war but I don’t think that is the case here and if it is then high five to Thilde on that one. 

Okay, so some people enjoy plenty of POV changes and don’t mind a slower pace but for me Vikings should be fast and vicious they should leave me exhausted and struggling with whiplash from the constant brawl to brawl nature that we have come to know. Again, this is just my opinion and others will love the pace.

Thilde Kold Holdt does a fantastic job when it comes to bringing the battles to life within the book. We are thrown right alongside our protagonists in the midst of battle and Thilde does not hold back with the gory descriptions. I like that a lot. 

As you guys know I am a huge fan of good world building and again Northern Wrath ticks all the right boxes here. We get a lot of travelling done within this epic and not all on the world of the living we also get to see a good chuck of the underworlds. Thilde Kold Holdt does a amazing job of bringing to life the battle fields, the dark caves, the villages and towns. I often found myself dreaming of these lands when I was going about my day. 

To sum up on Northern Wrath… If you love Vikings, if you love great world building and you love a good amount of gore then you will love Northern Wrath and I will recommend you pick up a copy of delve into its rich content. However if you find an abundance of POV switches or a slower pace a little off putting then I would recommend giving the 700 page epic that is Northern Wrath a miss.

A promising start to a trilogy by a debut author that has me slightly underwhelmed but also shouting from the rooftops.

Professional Reader

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