Odin’s Shadow is a riveting, fast-paced and extraordinarily well-written historical fiction novel. It is also the first Viking novel that I’ve ever read, but it certainly won’t be my last. Looking for a brief diversion from my current project, I picked up this book. Wow, that was a mistake. I found myself tossing my project to the side and deciding to take a frightening, but all-engrossing Viking journey instead. Although I found the Viking’s behavior shocking and ruthless, I didn’t want to put the book down. My world faded away as the tale, Odin’s Shadow became my reality. It’s raw and violent, but true to the nature of the Viking culture. I found myself mesmerized. Although, I despised the behavior of the Vikings, I couldn’t stop reading about them.
Selia, an Irish young woman, was enchanted by the beautiful Viking War-Lord, Alrik. She never expected him to come to her home, though, and snatch her from her family. The Vikings raided the Irish twice a year, killing or taking them as slaves and stealing their goods. Alrik didn’t take Selia as a slave, though. He made her his wife. Alrik’s dark side was so twisted and black that even his brother feared for Selia’s life. Although petrified of Alrik’s rage, Selia eventually fell in love with him and was able to calm him by reaching his brokenness with her own.
The book is brilliantly written with several complex layers and subplots. I found the characters, believable, fully developed and unique. I love finding new favorite authors, and Erin Riley is now one of them. I highly recommend giving this compelling story a read. Kudos to Ms. Riley.
~5 out of 5 stars~Review by Peg Glover