- File Size: 1225 KB
- Print Length: 395 pages
- Publication Date: October 1, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01LYGUJ03
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,499 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$15.99|
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Heart's Ease (The Northwomen Sagas Book 2) Kindle Edition
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By: Susan Fanetti
Susan Fanetti continually blows me away with every book she writes. I absolutely loved God’s Eye, book 1 in her new Vikings series, and Heart’s Ease was just as awesome. There was some overlap in the stories timelines. Leif and Olga’s story was heartbreaking, heart-warming and full of love. Their story begins when the raiders first land on the shores of Olga’s homeland and progresses quickly through the timeline of Brenna & Vali’s story, God’s Eye, and beyond.
Olga has lived a hard life, in a time when a woman’s life was at a man’s whim. In her young life, she has experienced much trauma, hardships, loss and some brief goodness. Her skills as a healer saved her life when the Viking raiders came upon the shores of her homeland. As she and her people adapt to life with the Vikings, the Vikings adapt to a new life as well. Friendships and bonds are formed. She hasn’t known the true love of a man, until she and Leif come together. But there are so many things that are keeping them one step removed, that it seems like they are just buying time until the heartache comes for its due.
Leif is a storied and decorated Viking raider. These men, even though in the prime of their lives, are considered to be elders because they started raiding when they were 14 years old or even younger. Leif was married young, and had many children, but due to the hard life they lived, he has also buried everyone that he has ever loved. At first he refuses to get over involved with Olga, because he doesn’t want to take something from her when there are no guarantees that they’ll be able to make a permanent life together.’
Leif has to find a way to make amends for his actions and try to win back Vali as a friend and Olga, as hopefully his wife. But there are more mountains for them to climb and trials to overcome. The journey isn’t easy, but it is worth it.
I’m very intrigued by Astrid and hope that she is in line to get a story. She’s an extremely loyal, strong, and fearsome Shieldmaiden. Astrid could also eventually make a really good jarl herself. I also really like young Frida. She has the inner-strength and fortitude of a woman many years her senior. Yet, she is a product of her time and environment and her life may have been quite normal for the times. But, I can really see a story coming for her too.
Heart's Ease was different for me than the first book yet no less powerful. I found it less about the romance between the two characters and more about resiliency and strength, more about overcoming and understanding. I doubt you'll find a Fanetti book review of mine where I don't say strength many times. It's prevalent in all of her works - the strength of the human spirit. With these vikings stories it's a naked kind of strength stripped of contemporary influences where we see people who handle life, death, and everything in between with a strength of a thousand people, men and women. It's poignant in a retroactive way because of the setting yet relates to contemporary times so vividly. These characters are put through violence and bloodshed as a way of life. What they overcome leaves room for hope and sustainability. Overcoming odds aren't even thought about it rather this is just their way of life. It's a lovely difference because these people just are resilient. They have to be. There's no question about it.
These themes seem to be what I always touch upon when I review this authors work. I can't help it as she's constantly reminding me of hope. Even in these darker, violent reads there's such a pillar of strength through adversity it's hard not to become enamored with the stories. Leif and Olga are two people fighting every day for something, internal/external, whatever the case. And the depth of the characterization astounded me. Less romance here had me loving and reliving parts of Vali and Brenna's story as we meet these former characters again. I don't want to spoil any plot here as this series is something wholly different than what I'm used to reading and I feel it needs to be experienced.
With that said, I'll tell you I'm not a fan of Vikings generally. These books are my first Vikings books and will probably be my only. There's a lot of history and terminology and even some of the politics that's a bit lost on me because I'm not a quick study in all things Norse. However, the beauty of Fanetti's writing is that it constantly proves that I don't need to be an expert, not even close, to feel the depth and breadth of her vast knowledge, beautiful language, and fantastically created worlds. Heart's Ease is a story you won't easily forget in a series of characters that stay with you past the end.
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