Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review of The Whale Road (Oathsworn #1) Robert Low

The Whale Road (Oathsworn, #1)The Whale Road by Robert Low
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Writing 4/5
Imagination 4/5
Plot 4/5
Setting 5/5
Characters 4.5/5

My Overall Enjoyment 5/5

Goodreads summary-
A band of brothers, committed only to each other, rides the waves, fighting for the highest bidder, treading the whale road in search of legendary relics.
Life is savage aboard a Viking raiding ship. When Orm Rurikson is plucked from the snows of Norway to brave the seas on the Fjord Elk, he becomes an unlikely member of the notorious crew. Although young, Orm must quickly become a warrior if he is to survive.
His fellow crew are the Oathsworn---named after the spoken bond that ties them in brotherhood. They fight hard, they drink hard, and they always defend their own.
But times are changing. Loyalty to the old Norse Gods is fading, and the followers of the mysterious “White Christ” are gaining power across Europe. Hired as relic hunters, the Oathsworn are sent in search of a sword believed to have killed the White Christ. Their quest will lead them onto the deep and treacherous waters of the whale road, toward the cursed treasure of Attila the Hun and to a challenge that presents the ultimate threat.
Robert Low has written a stunning epic, a remarkable debut novel. Not only a compelling narrative, The Whale Road also brings a new Viking landscape stretching from Scotland through the Baltic and on to Istanbul.
Everything I look for in a book; strong characters, superb writing, intriguing plot, grittiness, realism, violence and action, and extreme plot twists. I never heard of this author until a friend recommended it and I am so glad she did! Not a long book, but it did take awhile to get through. And in this case, that is not a bad thing as I did not want it to end it was so good.

The first night after reading this book, I had dark, bleak dreams of sailing and plundering with Vikings. This world was so vividly drawn it sucked me in and crossed into Dream, something few books can accomplish. I absolutely loved the conflict between the priests and followers of the Norse pantheon of gods and the same of the "White Christ".

This is most cleanly fits into the genre historical fantasy, as was set in our world and contains a good deal of Norse Mythology, but if you like darker themed fantasy, you will love this. Highly recommended for readers who like grimdark, Norse Mythology, or the time period of the Vikings. This is the first book of five in the Oathsworn series so I am very excited to catch up. Very underrated author! One of the best Viking books I have read.

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