This is the second installment of Eric Schumacher’s Hakon’s Saga, a series that follows Hakon Haroldson’s rise to power amongst the Norwegian Vikings during Europe’s Dark Ages. The first book propelled him rapidly from being fostered by the English King Athelstan to confronting a barely remembered brother and claiming his crown. If the task wasn’t arduous enough Hakon had converted to Christianity at a young age, and arrived as one of the handful of Christians in a proudly Norse culture filled with human sacrifice to the Old God’s.
In my review of God’s Hammer I mention that Mr. Schumacher is a little heavy handed with his historic terms at times, but not so much that I couldn’t enjoy my reading experience. Whether it was my advice or another’s, Mr Schumacher scaled back some of the historical language and I found that at no point was I ever pulled from my suspension of disbelief. That was my only complaint regarding the last book and would have been my only complaint in the second book but the author has left me with nothing to complain about in Raven’s Feast.
So I guess I’ll just heap on the praise. Hakon takes control of his own destiny in this book and begins to stumble and then run towards danger throughout the 250 plus pages of sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for it all to come crashing down around King Hakon.
Spoiler Alert (Stop reading now if you like surprises)
The first and perhaps not surprising choice hurtling Hakon to failure is his choice not to marry his betrothed, which is used by the Uplanders to drive a wedge between Hakon and his oldest and most powerful allies. To make matters worse Hakon also invites Christian missionaries to bring the ‘White Christ’ to the pagan masses which drives a wedge between Hakon and his most trusted warriors. The book watches Hakon’s choices unfold just like one might watch a disaster unfold, afraid to watch but unable to turn away. If you enjoy historical fiction or low fantasy the Hakon’s Saga series is highly recommended. Be ready to lose many hours of sleep as this book leaves no space for you to relax and put the book down. In my last review I stated that Mr Schumacher stands ready to be a ‘Great’ in a world full of mediocre authors and he has not disappointed, his writing keeps on improving. After reading this book I would say that you might as well learn to spell his name now because sooner or later you’re going to be writing Schumacher down as a recommendation for all your friends who share your interest in history, vikings, battles and/or political intrigue..
I’ve also heard that the Publisher will be running a promotion on Raven’s Feast on the US and UK amazon from July 20th – 23rd which should give you time to read just enough of God’s Hammer to get hooked on Mr. Schumacher’s series: Hakon’s Saga before the promotion is finished.
Nathan Swartz is Co-Host of ‘The Hoard’, reviewer for Dad’s and Dragons, Co-Founder of Transfigured Town Inc. event company and a loyal bannerman of house Grimiron
Nathan Swartz| Dads And Dragons
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