It has been awhile since I posted a book review. And would you believe I’m actually three books behind in reviews here? Soon to be four and one of those … well it is my favorite book ever. I haven’t enjoyed reading this much since I was a teenager dreading the bell to ring to start class! Which book is that? Well … you’ll have to wait around to see!
First up is a great book by Alaric Longward, the Beast of the North. This is the second book of Alaric’s that I’ve read (which according to a quick blog search, I’ve never reviewed the Oath Breaker here! Ack, make that going on five books behind!).
First the blurb
The Nine Worlds have been sundered from each other and the gods during the goddess Hel’s War long ago, but in the land of Midgard the years have passed relatively peacefully. Men govern men, and there are wars, there is peace and life is as it should be. For Red Midgard, times are changing, however. The harsh, freedom-loving northern land faces the animosity of the mighty High King, but also a threat of war with its few allies, as King Morag is rumored to look for any reason to go to war with his allies. Maskan and Sand, thieves of Dagnar, discover a web of conspiracies to topple the king before it is too late, and soon, they have a good reason to tie their fates with those who would fight the king. But not all is as it seems, and layers of truths and lies make the road dark and dangerous. Our heroes must navigate very murky waters of betrayal, elemental magic, love, and loyalty to save their land and to find revenge.
Now the review!
The Beast of the North is a really great story immersed in Norse mythology, but with a unique and new plot. I was impressed at how much Maskan developed as a character during the story – as well as how much my view of what was happening in the world changed as more and more was revealed. Truly a difficult feat to pull off as a writer – to completely alter the reader’s perceptions through gradual nudges so that the big reveal feels perfect. My hat off to Alaric Longward for creating such a good plot that was as surprising as it was masterful.
I admit I initially felt disappointment that the book was written in first person. For some reason books written in first person do not resonate well with me. But once the world and characters clicked, it didn’t make a difference. And looking back now as a writer, I can appreciate that short of using the POV of Sand, Maskan’s friend, any other POV would have completely ruined the amazing build of revelations as the truth of Maskan’s world and self is peeled away layer by layer.
In the end, what I thought was this was a great start to a new series and I’m looking forward to the rest of the books!
Results?? ????? Five stars for Beast of the North!