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Of Ice & Magic: An Epic Fantasy Novella Paperback – July 20, 2015
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Fornulf is a smith of a special kind. He forges swords imbued with the life force of a willing human sacrifice. Such swords are almost unstoppable in battle, and Fornulf hopes forging one for local chief Torgny will help find a husband for daughter Berengara. It’s a particularly difficult task as Berengara fancies herself a shield maiden.
But Torgny is a treacherous bastard and tries to slaughter Fornulf and his family. He succeeds in killing only Fornulf’s wife. The rest are forced to flee, braving trolls and other legendary creatures to find Sybil, a witch who has known Fornulf for years. Together, they hatch a rebellion against Torgny, even forging a new life sword after finding a new sacrifice and a champion.
Long has created an HBO-worthy world steeped in the Norse mythos. While the familiar gods aren’t mentioned, many Viking legends and customs are woven into a tale that is both original and familiar.
Wow! Who knew that a novella of an epic fantasy could be so freaking good! I totally loved this book.
What do I say without giving out spoilers :) I just want to talk about the whole thing.
Okay so you have have Fornulf (which means ancient wolf), he is the last living-sword, life-forger. Although, his son, Karl is his apprentice and has been for four years, so hopefully this will continue on in the family.
Fornulf forges a sword for the evil Lord Torgny, but at the time he didn't know Torgny was evil.
When Fornulf forges a sword, not only does it take a lot of materials, it takes a willing sacrifice that say the words to the sword that they give their soul willingly. Well... when I say life-sword, I mean LIFE SWORD.
Fornulf also has a daughter named Brynn that is very good with weapons, better than her brother even.
When Fornulf and Karl go to the towns for a couple of days to buy supplies and nice things for Brynn and their mom Hilde with the large bag of money they got for the sword the jerk Torgny comes back to their home attempting to kill them all. Some did get killed but I won't say who.
This leads to an alliance with Torgny's nephew Gunner and brings the townsfolk together to help forge another sword for Gunner. They also have magic and sorcery that help in this endeavor. What occurs is just so awesome and sad that I'm holding back from telling everything what happened. OH and the end is so good I can't hardly stand it. Talk about getting revenge!
I recommend to all high fantasy book lovers!
I don't want to to give away too much in this review as this is Novella is a short read. The writing in this book is great and focuses primarily on the blacksmith as the main character, but opens from the perspective of the sword itself, which, as stated, is imbued with a willing soul.
Long's writing style lends it self well to a visual realm, and I could see it adapted to a short film or fantasy anthology series without much difficulty. The story could likewise be fleshed out into a much longer novel, and I applaud Long for keeping this story short and to the point.
Shield Rating 95%. (Well written/edited and a good length for a novella)
Most recent customer reviews
The opening is intriguing the first time you read it, and rather funny the...Read more