Northern Wrath by Thilde Kold Holdt: Review

This debut story is actually the first physical arc I was ever sent by a publisher and was also the first Viking inspired story I had read. For these two reasons, this book holds a special place in my heart and I’m hoping that this review, based off of my previous review on my old YouTube channel, ignites an interest in yourself to read before the sequel is released next month.

Some information about this book:

  • Release date: October 27th 2020
  • Published by: Solaris (Rebellion)
  • Pages: 616
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Series: The Hanged God Trilogy (Book #1)

Blurb:

Following in the steps of Neil Gaiman & Joanne Harris, the author expertly weaves Norse myths and compelling characters into this fierce, magical epic fantasy.

A dead man, walking between the worlds, foresees the end of the gods.

A survivor searching for a weapon releases a demon from fiery Muspelheim.

A village is slaughtered by Christians, and revenge must be taken.

The bonds between the gods and Midgard are weakening. It is up to Hilda, Ragnar, their tribesmen Einer and Finn, the chief’s wife Siv and Tyra, her adopted daughter, to fight to save the old ways from dying out, and to save their gods in the process.


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Firstly I’d like to thank Hanna at Rebellion for sending me this book, it was my first experience with a publisher and she made the whole process enjoyable and seamless, introduced me to this brilliant author (who I ended up interviewing last year) and has also set me up for many more books by Rebellion of which I have reviewed and continue to do so.

Now, before I read this book I had no knowledge of Vikings. The only knowledge I did own was that of what I’d seen in the opening scene in the movie Gladiator and two seasons of the famed Amazon show, Vikings.

Thilde (pronounced TILDA) is a debut author and what this means is that this is her first published story. This is an important point to remember here because sometimes you get debut authors and they write some nice books but they don’t necessarily hit the nail on the head first go. Thilde did.

Thilde has created multiple worlds filled with believable life. There are many people in the book who flesh it out despite them not being main characters. They work well because they feel real and that they deserve to be there and haven’t been thrown in just to “flesh it out”. The worlds that Thilde has created aren’t strictly fantasy since Midgard (Earth) is here already but her worldbuilding is great and brings it all to life really well. I especially found the book chapters labelled as Darkness very interesting and cannot wait to see what happens in this world in Shackled Fates (book #2).

Thilde has written Northern Wrath as a multiple pov (point of view) story. If I remember correctly there are four povs but three of these are on Midgard which is where the main story is being told. The various protagonists Thilde has wielded onto the pages all carry very believable goals. They each have their own wants and needs and this is seen through their actions and conversations which reinforces the idea that they are real vikings who have existed before us. I think each person will have their own favourite character. For me it’s probably Hilda but the others are equally as good fun!

Now with Vikings you expect fighting, drinking and shouting. Fear not, there is plenty of that to go around. Even better, it’s been written really authentically and well. You will be pleased to know this has well choreographed and brutal fight scenes between Vikings and their enemies. The details about the fights are just what’s right – not too much that it turns it into a history lesson and not too little that you feel like someone is trying to write what they see live at a boxing match. There are some really smart pieces of action in here too. I can remember messaging Thilde as I read this last year and shouting about how cool a certain fight, which occurs in the sea, was. Really genius imagination.

This has been bittersweet to write this review because essentially I don’t have the time to re-read Northern Wrath before I read my Shackled Fates arc (advanced review copy) but it’s so nice revisiting the book and helping others to see how good this book is. I don’t want to say too much with what to expect in this book but there are more than just humans in here. I love the fact the chapters are broken down as different character perspectives too. It’s my favourite style of story.

Rating 5/5 – I love this book and I love Thilde’s writing style. She creates realistic but brilliant battle scenes and makes you want to help the characters reach their goals. She’s a great author who has authentic research that goes into her books (She has been in a viking ship and rowed across the sea for example). Thilde has already written the third book in this series, Slaughtered Gods and the second book, Shackled Fates, is out in October 2021.

You can add this book to your Goodreads TBR here. If you have a copy of Shackled Fates from the publisher, feel free to join our Discord readalong taking place through October. You can find an invite here: Discord page.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BookishBenny

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