Blood Eye by Giles Kristian
Bantam –August 28th, 2012
448 pages – Adult Fiction
Source: The Publisher via Edelweiss
Read what this book is about here.
I received a digital galley, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.
Wow! I can’t say that I am a huge fan of historical fiction, I’m not. I am a ginormous fan of a really good story. I don’t really care what genre that story falls under. Sometimes, I stay away from certain genres because my lack of exposure to them or my experience with them. No offense to those who like historical fiction because of the facts that bog down a story, but that is what turns me off from HF. That was not the case with Blood Eye. It was an amazing bloody story. Yep, bloody –blood flowed freely off the pages. Sometimes it was mixed with brain matter or intestines, but the pages were drenched with blood. And I loved it. Raven’s story is not for anyone that is faint of heart or weak of stomach. But if you want stories of warriors and battles and fields drenched in blood, without the bitter aftertaste of being sugarcoated, this book is definitely for you.
One thing that I loved about this story was that it was not nameless violence. Yes, it was violence that may have been avoided at times. But when the battle is over, and Raven is looking over the carnage he is able to name those fallen and laying dead beside him. Along his journey, Raven encounters warriors who fight against him in one situation, fights beside him in another. If Raven knows the name of the fallen then when he describes the manner of death he honors the warrior by remembering his name. Is it important to the story? Maybe not, but it’s important to me. I think it also makes Raven stand out among the wolves a little bit more.
This was my first Viking adventure, and I definitely want to read more! To clarify, these were Norsemen –not to be confused with the Danes. Raven was the perfect narrator for this story (this is his story, of course). He was learning what it means to be part of the wolf pack right along with us. The choices he made to embrace his future, instead of looking back at what he lost (and the part he played in it) are difficult choices. It is a way of life that is contrary to what he is accustomed to, but may be closer to where he began then he knows. I really felt as if I was sitting by a fire listening to an old story teller. I don’t want to say beautiful for that it is a much too feminine word for a story that is so… masculine at its best. I think Odin would be proud.
For those literary folks: the characters were well-developed. They were not flat and did not stay on the page that well. (They were such ill-mannered heathens!) Each character, whether minor or major, jumped off the page and came to life for their brief bit of story. The setting was vivid and there were moments when I felt that I could reach out and touch the trees or the walls surrounding a village. It was as real as a storyteller could create. Historical accuracy? Honestly, don’t care but if you must know, I personally don’t know enough to comment on.
Recommendation: This is definitely a book worth checking out, whether a fan of historical fiction, Viking tales, bloody battles, or amazing storytelling. Go check this book out ASAP!!
What’s next? Sons of Thunder