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Summary

Raef Skallagrim wants to take the sea road. His ship is fast and sleek, his crew skilled and eager, and they will seek out new lands and win fame in the eyes of the gods. But Raef’s father refuses to allow the journey and when a stranger brings word that the king is dead and a gathering has been called to choose a successor, Raef must set aside his dream for his duty to his ancestral lands and his father. 

When factions split at the gathering to choose a successor, Raef finds himself mired in bloodshed and treachery. Forced to make an uneasy alliance with a man he does not trust, Raef must navigate the tides of a war among three kings while seeking revenge for cold-blooded murder. 

But winter has come early to Midgard, and even the gods will feel the cold.

©2015 Taya Kent (P)2018 Taya Kent

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Great would be an understatement

This is, hands down one of the most entering books I have ever read to this day

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  • Trish and Ben
  • 22-04-19

FanFreakinTastic

Absolutely incredible. Gritty and timeless, feels like a classic. The depth and development of the characters will have you missing them after you're finished. I need another book!

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  • Julie B.
  • 12-02-19

absolutely epic!

move over uthred of bebbenburg theres a new star in town. this is seriously my favorite book I've purchased thru audible. I can hardly wait for part 2 and 3!

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  • Bryce O'Connor
  • 11-12-18

I HAVE BEEN WAITING SO LONG FOR THIS!

I am SO glad this is finally on the shelves, and Julian Casey KILLS it. Worth picking up. Do it now.

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  • Drew McVittie
  • 01-01-20

The Scribblings review of The Blood-Tainted Winter

When his father is killed at a meeting to select the new king, Raef Skallagrim swears vengeance. But as various factions begin to vie for power, he finds himself at the mercy of not only the other Lords but of the Gods themselves.

Set in a land populated by the traditions and pantheon of Norse mythology, The Blood Tainted Winter begins with the political horse-trading between lords as to who has enough support to be proclaimed the next king. This is something I always find interesting and, although Raef himself is not part of it, we do get his view of his father’s careful planning.

But when blood is repeatedly shed, either by incident or deliberation, things quickly escalate into a three-way struggle for supremacy. At first, Raef is only interested in seeking revenge for his father’s death but as war quickly engulfs the land he and his companions find themselves pulled in many different directions.

One of the things that I admired was the simple fact that Raef’s exploits often result in either him being out-manoeuvred by older, wiser opponents or having to make deals to placate a superior force. While there are clues early on that Raef can be quite skilled in a one-on-one fight, initially, you get the impression that most of the diplomacy and statecraft expected of him are more or less being made up on the spot. This results in him having to undertake tasks for one Lord, then another; a constantly shifting set of alliances that do lead to him having to mature in a short space of time.

Since the story is told exclusively from Raef’s perspective it is equally easy to both sympathize with his sense of loss and despair at his lack of foresight. The downside is that the supporting characters are given less development, which I hope is remedied in the next part of the trilogy.

The battles, as you might expect from the time period the setting evokes, are fast-paced and brutal with a fitting level of gritty realism. They build from individual fights to skirmishes to a fall scale siege. Similarly, the more fantastical/mythological elements are steadily laid in, culminating in the suggestion that the fabled Ragnarok might finally be on its way.

Recommended for any who enjoy Norse mythology or jut a strong gritty fantasy tale.

4 out of 5 fire cloaks.

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  • Bryan
  • 10-10-19

well worth a listen

if you are looking for Vikings, action, adventure. You found it. Great book, great listen, great time.

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  • Tammy
  • 22-03-19

I loved it need other 2 books to be audible

it was a great story there are 2 more to complete the the trilogy I cannot find the the next 2 edda in audible here I wish to get the other 2 books in audible thanks a great listen