I had heard so many fantastic things about this book and I was so hyped for it! I can’t believe I got an e-arc. Thanks, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press!
Actual Rating: 4.5
I loved the influence by the Celtics and Vikings and I really enjoyed this book. One of the only faults it has is that it ended.
Eelyn is strong, battle proven and loyal to her family and clan. I loved the beginning of the book as we were immediately thrown into the battle but still got to see how Eelyn is characterwise and what is important to her so we can care for her and her friend Myra.
I really enjoyed following her journey and I’m thankful for this book because it gave me back the hope that characters who focus on their honour a lot can be great and clever characters. I’ve often read characters who act quite stupid just to be honourable and not only endanger their own life (because who cares) but that of others, too and oftentimes without a good enough reason (for me at least).
Eelyn had a reason to prefer death over losing her honour and I could totally understand where she was coming from. The worldbuilding, their culture and the differences and similarities between the two clans were quite interesting and I would have loved to go even more in-depth.
Eelyn coming to terms with what happened and what is in her immediate future was done brilliantly and I loved her struggling and her determination not to give and not to forgive were quite realistic.
The family dynamics were another part I really liked. Her fragile relationship with her brother, her slowly warming heart to the little kid … were beautiful to witness. Also, her relationship with her best friend Myra and her Dad felt raw and real.
A lot of the characters were interesting, all very different and with their very own struggles, hopes and dreams.
Again, the atmosphere was great and I would have liked the book to be a bit longer so we had more time to really explore not only the world and culture but the people and their feelings more. This book really gripped me and I can only recommend it!