Top positive review
Overpowering Urge for Revenge!
Reviewed in the United States on October 17, 2017
Revenge is in her heart and on her mind. Nothing will stop Madrena, Shieldmaiden and sister of Alaric. Alaric is the right hand man of Eirik, Jarl of Dalgaard. For the past five years Madrena has been training relentlessly to become a superior warrior who could defeat anyone who faced her. An event had occurred to her when she was a defenseless maiden earlier in her life; one that left her with recurring nightmares. She would never be defenseless again! The book begins with a terrible storm that causes the shipwreck of strangers who were headed to Jutland, a place where they planned to sell slaves. The ship was dashed against the rocks causing many deaths as well as injuries to a handful of survivors. These survivors were secretive about their plans and intentions. One survivor, whom villagers of Dalgaard assumed was a friend of the others, was not treated as well by the others. Upon close inspection, Eirik, Alaric and Madrena among villagers could get no explanation about their shunning of the one man. This man has a different coloring and his hair was dark where his companions had blonde hair.
Madrena, the fierce shieldmaiden, was determined to get revenge against the man who had hurt her over five years ago. She had approached Eirik, the Jarl of Dalgaard, on several occasions to allow her a ship to carry out a mission to the east where she would seek out the person who hurt her. (The reader later learns that this powerful person she hunts had raped her.) Eirik denied her request each time giving her a variety of reasons for the denial: Madrena lacked a sound plan, others traveling on the ship with her would be at risk, she did not know who the man was and where he lived, and at certain times of year there was a weather concern. In her anger and frustration as well as her thirst for revenge she turns to the dark haired stranger whom Madrena believed was from the east. Runin, the stranger, talks to Madrena and offers to take her to the village of Seterfell where he said her tormentor lives. Madrena, although not fully trusting Runin, helps him escape. She tells no one; not even her twin brother, Alaric.. Runin is determined to later escape from her after they reach territory that is unfamiliar to her. A series of events occur though that lead to second thoughts on his part. On their journey they save each other's life and a deep relationship forms. Despite repeated attempts to discourage her and to make her drop her determination for revenge, she refuses to change her mind. As snow falls and winter weather settles in they must work together as a team if they hope to survive. They survive an ambush by three men seeking to rob them, a chase by a fourth man who is a hunter set on killing them for taking the lives of his three companions, and a brush with death in a surging, fast moving river, as well as a lake that sought to swallow up Runin as he dragged a seriously injured Madrena across the lake on a makeshift sled.
Who are some of the other key people in the book? Eirin as Jarl of Dalgaard, his wife Laurel whom Eirin rescued from a bad situation, as well as close friends of Alaric and Madrena, In the east, readers encounter Jarl Bersi, cruel and bloodthirsty man who is childless but had claimed Runin to be his son and heir yet later banishes Runin from Seterfell. Jarl Bersi of Seterfell has surrounded himself with henchmen to assure his orders are being followed. Gunrud is an ancient and ageless healer in Seterfell, home of Runin. Ketill and Finna, a married couple with three kids in Seterfell are recognized by Runin and theysave both Runin and Medrena when falls through the ice on a lake. Finna is a healer who puts her skills to work in saving a fevered Medrena; who had two arrows removed from her body. Finna is assisted in the healing process by her capable daughter, Ingrid.
This is a wonderful story of love and self revelation as two people fight their attraction for each other, divest themselves of their own personal demons, and seek a warm, loving relationship.. I will not give away the plot but you will wonder whether Madrena gets her revenge. Does Madrena, for all of her single minded determination to get revenge on Jarl Bersi, find it in her heart to let any man get nearer her? Why is Runin called by two names: Bersison and the name Tryggsson. This is Book 2 in the series. It can be read as a stand alone but I believe reading the first book will be helpful to the reader. Enjoy!