the Little Red Reviewer

Posts Tagged ‘witches

Wolfsangel by M.D. Lachlan

published in March 2011

where I got it: library

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Even in the largest of Viking villages, there isn’t much to do.  Farm, fish, train, raid, repeat, and even the Norse Gods get bored sometimes.  And what better cure for a god’s boredom than having themselves born into a human body and forgetting who and what they are?  As long as Odin, all father, all hater, and ultimate God of War, welcomes his dead warriors to Valhalla, most Vikings don’t really care what he does in his spare time.

Wolfsangel is a brutal and visceral retelling of ancient Norse mythology, and Lachlan had me hooked in the first chapter with teeth didn’t let go until the final page.  Exquisitely violent, this is not a book for the faint of heart. I don’t think Odin would accept anything less.

In desperate need of a male heir, King Authun follows a prophecy to towards a child rumored to be stolen from the Gods. Instead, he finds identical infant twins, and their scarred mother. The Witches of the mountains allow Authun to keep one child, and they keep the mother and the other child for themselves.  One boy is raised as Prince and then ward, the other is raised by the wolfmen in the wilderness.

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Witch World, by Andre Norton

Published in 1963

Where I got it: borrowed from a friend

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Andre Norton, the woman who has not one, but two literary genre awards named after her.  She broke glass ceilings left and right, has a near endless list of books to her name, and is rightfully so a legend in the science fiction community.  Her Witch World series started with a few stories, and grew exponentially to cover over 20 novels and novellas known as the Estcarp Cycle and the High Hallack Cycle.

What I’m getting at here is that if you style yourself a science fiction fan, read yourself some Norton. She may not use the flashiest guns or the shiniest spaceships, but these are the stories your favorite authors grew up reading. These are the stories that influenced many of the authors who are influencing you.

If there is such a thing as traditional sci-fantasy, Witch World is it.  Simon Tregarth, soldier turned bootlegger is running from the law. Approached by a gentleman who promises he can hide Simon forever, Simon doesn’t have much of a choice. Offered a doorway to the “world his heart desires”, Simon finds himself someplace. . . strange.  After saving a woman who is being hunted, Simon slowly learns about this new world. Escarp is a country ruled by women who have the Power (witches), and the surrounding countries are primarily male dominated cultures who wish to take over Estcarp.  Estcarp’s highly trained guardsmen (assisted by Simon) can take care of most of her enemies. But the soldiers of the Kolder, that’s a different story all together. Once they are on the march, no amount of guns or arrows will stop the creatures of Kolder.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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