Driven by the promise of an ancient prophecy which will bring the dark ways of an old god back to power and prominence, an army of invaders swarms Ogulf Harlsbane’s homeland slaughtering all those who oppose them.
Along with his people, Ogulf must seek refuge from this savage force. In his search of sanctuary, he is tasked with finding the one person who can put a stop to the onslaught.
Doing so will send him across lands and seas, have him and his closest friend navigate the intricacies of a civil war, and try to win the help of the princess fighting for her throne.
If he fails, darkness will prevail and the reign of the Onyxborn will begin.Cold From The North by D.W. Ross
Cold from the North is a great start to what is shaping up to be a promising series from a debut author. Often we take a chance when picking up a self-published novel but Cold from the North is definitely worth a read.
Cold from the North is without doubt an epic adventure. We get to travel far and wide with our protagonists and we get to see a lot of the world. Ross has built a brilliant world with plenty of history which slowly unravels throughout the book and I hope we continue to get more history lessons of Gelenea in the rest of the series. In fact I would even say that there is enough history in Gelenea to create a further storyline following other events that have transpired. I for one would love to learn more about the Summer of Rebellion in Broadheim. It is mentioned a few times in the book, enough to peak my interest. Ross has also created a good magic system which has firm foundations and substance. One that is believable. I know a lot of readers really get involved with magic systems and I think they will be plenty happy with what is on offer here.
Map? Where is the map?? I’m sorry to say that one down side for me is that this book lacks a map which is a shame as throughout the story we get to travel alongside two of our protagonists, Ogulf and Melcun, through a beautiful world and I would have loved to have followed along using a map. This of course is not a major problem for many and not even a major problem for myself. I just think it would have been so much more immersive for me if there was a map of this intriguing world. *Please see the edit regarding an update on the map
Another little downfall is that I felt the story needed a little more action. After all we are in the midst of a nation being invaded which so happens to be happening right alongside another nation’s civil war. There is so many opportunities to add more fight scenes in. I will say however that when we do get to the action it is well crafted and flows very well. I found myself lost in amongst the axe swings and battered skulls. For a debut book Ross has certainly hit a fine note with fight scenes. The tension, adrenaline and fear were all present and we get a good feel for those characters involved.
Okay, now that being said I want to mention the characters we have in Cold form the North. We get a pretty good line up of interesting characters. They are all well-crafted and clearly a lot of thought has gone into creating a nice diverse cast. We have strong females, we have males that are not afraid to show emotion and I want to point out that this book does a good job of building people up instead of tearing them apart for their failures. There is one moment in particular that is a shining example of this but for fear of spoilers I cannot mention it. Sorry folks but you will have to pick up a copy to find out what I mean. I will also mention that character development is right where it should be in the first book of a series. We get little glimpses into what some characters will become and what they are capable of. I look forward to seeing what happens in the next instalment.
Cold from the North has wet my appetite and left me wanting more from The Onyxborn Chronicle in all the right ways. I want to see more of Gelenea and I need to know what becomes of a certain character. Again I don’t want to say too much here for fear of spoilers.
I would highly recommend Cold from the North to those that love a good epic fantasy adventure. Grab yourself a copy, sit back in your favourite armchair with a *coffee in hand and let Ross sweep you away to a world full of adventure and ripe for exploring.
*A good whisky also works very well. Trust me.
EDIT: Since I wrote this review of Cold From The North Ross has informed me that the book has been edited to include a map of Gelenea which is fantastic for those of us that enjoy to follow along the journeys.
Cold From The North is a great start to a series and I cant wait to learn more about the world of Gelenea.
This book easily picks up a Book Vagabond Recommendation.