“Bruised, bloody, and barely dressed, she knew it was over. She had no doubt the Vikings would search for her if she tried to run—especially now, with their companion lying dead. It would be dark soon, and she had no idea where she could go or hide. Jilliand knew they would come for her. The Vikings were not likely to let this go—especially it being an attack by a woman. She was defeated. Weak and shaking, she stared at the man’s body. I think tonight I die. ”
To me, this book started off promising, but then it went down from there. We started with Jilliand being imprisoned by her father, then she worked with Rurik on a Viking ship, then she lived with Rurik, and then even more. The story continued to crawl along, but as soon as I fell into one part of the story, it quickly switched to the other.
The story was definitely very interesting, even though nothing good seemed to happen to Jilliand for quite a while. After a few chapters, I wanted SOMETHING good to be able to happen to Jilliand. But every single time something good happened to Jilliand, something bad happened to take away what small happiness she had. I know that this is supposed to be the medieval times with the Vikings or “pagans” vs. the Christians, but I highly doubt that there would be any one person that simply had the worst luck and couldn’t have a single bit of happiness. She is just abused so much in this book, and I felt so bad for her by the end.
The storyline with Rurik was romantic, but it was definitely tumultuous. This is not a strictly romance story, the romance is really just a side plot to the main story.
The plot of this book did not move smoothly, as Jilliand got older and there seemed to be some major timeskips throughout the story. There was so much just jam-packed into this one book that I didn’t get the chance to be connected to any of the side characters. I barely got to know Rurik, with him always being away and running the Viking army.
My favorite character in this book ended up being Rurik’s mother. She is so sweet to Jilliand, and wanted to help her in every way possible. She became the mother that Jillinand never had, and helped her to heal after the years of abuse she had endured at the hands of her father and the other people whom she encountered. She was the only one that I felt that I got to “know” after reading the book.
I would not necessarily recommend this book. It is definitely a unique fantasy novel, but it is such a dry read that it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience. I also wish that I had gotten to know the side characters more, but the writing style made it difficult.
I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 stars