Solveig has made it all the way from Norway to the glittering city of Constantinople, where her father is a member of the guard of Empress Zoe. Soon Solveig finds herself caught up in the conflict between the Viking guard and the Islamic people of nearby Sicily. In this world of competing religious beliefs, brutal violence and ruthless mercenaries, Solveig must face some terrible truths about her father and her fellow Vikings, and decide what she considers worth fighting for.
This book was slightly more fast paced than the first one. Only slightly though. It featured some new characters as well as some amazingly described settings and also started off with a strong start.
I think what stops me from loving these books are the lack of character development and the lack of general suspense in the writing. I felt I connected well with Solveig in this book except for that part with the uncalled for, unnecessary romance. Also I was a little puzzled that she was so against all the killing when she at the end kills but doesn’t think much about it?
The minor characters again didn’t feel real, but I will admit Harald’s character was portrayed in a really realistic way. The author completely captured his character and brutality well also it was apparent right from the start that a lot of historical research had gone into this book too. Life in that era was so well described, with every detail being captured, that I could imagine myself on that journey and among the characters. I also liked that the author didn’t sugarcoat anything despite this being aimed at a younger audience.
Despite the lack of suspense in the writing, I did feel there was more excitement and more going on in this book and yes, this book was still one big journey, but I felt there was a more epic feel to it as well as more darkness and urgency. The plot had a lot happen and yes, I still think this book, like the last one, could have been written in a more exciting manner making it more interesting. But overall it was a very rich, well detailed, well thought of book and I still hope the author would write more historical journeys for young people as I don’t think I’ve been taken in so well into a historical setting since reading Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver 😛
Who I’d recommend this for:
If you liked the first book then this is definitely worth a try as it carries on in the same light and same detail as the first one, but I’d recommend this series to all who are interested in Vikings and the journeys of strong young women in an all male world.