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The Lifeblood of Ill-fated Women (The Blood, Sun, and Moon.) (Volume 1) Paperback – January 1, 2017
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This is an incredible book that poignantly represents the Viking spirit, crafted with wonderful characters like Astrid, Kol, Yrsa and many others. The Lifeblood of Ill-fated Women will transport readers into a world with the kind of violence and warfare only the Vikings know. The plot is fast-paced, constructed with short chapters that are quick to read, all packed with intense action. Kevin James Breaux stands out as a master of his craft, and the writing is exquisite, laced with vivid descriptions that allow readers to penetrate the minds of the characters and to relive the electrifying actions in their imaginations. I enjoyed the references to Viking lore and mythology, especially the part that Odin, the father of all the Vikings, plays in the life of the characters, and the powerful quest for Valhalla that throbs within their breasts. This is a gripping story that reads like a great movie.
From the Author
Gold Award - Hungry Monster Book Review March 2017
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Kevin James Breaux scores big in the first book of this mythological/historical swashbuckling adventure. I was compelled by Astrid’s inner struggle, which Breaux develops masterfully. There are plenty of other characters where I can see possible storylines going. And I can’t wait to see how the ending is resolved in the sequel.
The War-field's are cold, the love is fiery, the battles gory, and the struggles harrowing. Pick up a copy of The Life Blood of Ill-Fated Women to cool off during a hot summer read!
3 1/2 stars.
I’m not an expert on Norse Mythology or Vikings but I definitely like reading about it and anything related to the two. Breaux has written various types of fantasy from High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy and now Historical Fantasy. And I must say I am digging Breaux’s jump into Historical Fantasy. In The Lifeblood of Ill-Fated Women Breaux introduces readers to Astrid, a warrior princess who is brave as she is impulsive, always running head first into battle and danger. Within the opening chapter Astrid’s home is invaded and somewhere amongst the chaos Astrid ends up far, far away from Birka, her home. With her family missing, her memories wiped and lost, Astrid reluctantly accepts help from Warren, a farmer and ex-soldier. With Warren by her side, Astrid starts to uncover what happened that fateful night, who she really was and that there may be more to life besides pillaging and war.
The book started with a bang. I immediately felt the urgency as Astrid and her sister Yrsa tried to gather the family as intruders encroach on their land. But Astrid is never one to run away from a fight and it is there that things took a turn for the worst. Astrid woke up alone and far from home in a strange land called Gromstad. But then the story dramatically slowed down as Breaux sets up the world and the characters through Astrid’s interaction with the people of Gromstad and multiple flashback scenes. I was a little bit confused in the middle of the book, since there was a lot going on but things weren’t being explained right away. It wasn’t till I got towards the end of the book that everything started to make sense…we find out the truth about Astrid and her family and her true purpose for waking up in the location that she did.
I like how brave and strong Astrid was, no doubt a fierce heroine. But at times It was hard to relate to her. She was raised a certain way and even she herself said her brothers saw her more as a guy than a girl. She’s not used to asking for help or for things she needs…she usually just took whatever she needed. But one thing I could relate to is the strong bond and love she had for her family and how she would do anything for them. I liked that about her. And though the book is mainly focus on Astrid, I still felt that there was something that kept me from truly connecting with her. What? I’m not sure. I can’t exactly pinpoint it. I also didn’t think the secondary characters were as developed as Astrid. I thought the characters could’ve had more background/history to make them more realistic and memorable but I honestly forgot them as soon as they came and went. The only other character that came close to being as interesting as Astrid was probably her sister, Yrsa…but even then she didn’t have much page time.
Overall, The Lifeblood of Ill-Fated Women is a good start to a brand new series. I enjoyed Breaux’s spin on Norse Mythology and the general concept of the novel. I haven’t read many Norse or Viking novels, so I highly recommend this book for those looking for a fresh and unique read! It was a nice change of scenery in my usual paranormal reads.
It starts out with Astrid being awoken by her sister, Yrsa, because there is a battle where they were sleeping. Astrid gets up, goes out to fight, and then passes out. When she wakes up, she’s in a completely different place, dressed completely differently, and nothing is what it’s supposed to be. Astrid thinks that the gods are testing her but she doesn’t know who to trust.
I spent most of the first half of the book completely confused along with Astrid, wondering what was happening, why she was where she was, and if she should trust Warren, the handsome man. I figure that was the author’s point—to make us just as confused as Astrid—but it was still slightly off-putting not knowing what was true and what was false.
One thing that was definitely difficult for me was the slow pace throughout the beginning. Because there was so much background building, it made for a slow plot. However, once that was done and the story was set, the action could take off—and take off it did!
Warren, Astrid’s love interest, is kind and sweet. Sometimes I doubted that he was truthful because of how kind he was. I got myself into Astrid’s mindset—does he truly mean it, or does he have some sinister plot? However, I did feel like sometimes Astrid and Warren got a bit too close too quickly. There wasn’t much buildup with them, it was just BAM! Instantaneous attraction.
Many of the secondary characters in this book weren’t as fleshed out as I’d like them to be, especially because they seemed interesting. Take Yrsa, for example. She seems interesting, but we don’t really see her much until the second half of the book. Even then, she isn’t really fleshed out. And Yrsa is supposed to be a strong Viking woman, and spends most of the time seeming… meek. However, I didn’t really mind, especially since this is meant to be a series. I feel like the fleshing out of other characters will be done throughout the next books in the series.
Emmerich, however, didn’t need more fleshing out. He was the vilest person in this book, and I thoroughly hated him. Just when I thought that maybe he was okay—nope never mind, he’s still a jerk. I really loved how the author was able to make this character so hate-able. That’s definitely a skill that most authors haven’t honed, but Breaux most definitely has.
I applaud Kevin Breaux for being able to write characters that I fully empathize with. He has definitely created a unique world with an interesting spin on Norse Mythology. I really enjoyed the world-building throughout this book, and am looking forward to the next books in the series. I recommend this book to people who don’t mind gore and love unique takes on mythology, surprising events, and strong women.
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Bloody violence that'll make Grandma call the cops on you for reading such filthy material ...Read more