A Sacred Storm
The second instalment of Theodore Brun’s Wanderer Chronicles returns readers to 8th-century Scandinavia with our troubled hero, Erlan, and his loyal servant, Kai. Erlan remains sworn to Sviggar; King of the Sveärs, but as the King grows weaker, new alliances are being formed and the threat of war with Danish King Harold Wartooth grows nearer. Erlan defeated mythical creatures in the first book in the series, but in this tale his enemies are all too human. He is forced to choose between his growing feelings for Sveär princess Lilla or loyalty to his lord, and as Lilla finds herself a pawn in the political strategies around her, Erlan finds himself on the wrong side of the game.
Despite being a hefty tome at over 700 pages, the action in this novel is full pelt and the pace never flags. The tangled relationships at the heart of the book make for as much page-turning reading as the frequent action and battle scenes. There is less of the historical fantasy feel in this instalment, but it does present a fascinating portrait of pagan beliefs and customs in an era which saw the elevation of warrior culture. Brun draws inspiration from Norse legend and Scandinavian history, but the Wanderer Chronicles are very much Erlan’s story. If you are a fan of Bernard Cornwell or George R. R. Martin, then Theodore Brun is a must read.