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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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Top Customer Reviews
Kevin James Breaux brings readers into a distant world where people are stilled ruled by the Nordic Gods. Times of war are ending and settlements are turning more to farm towns and less militant. Astrid arrives in one of these small farming towns called Gromstad. She is convinced Warren is her captor and she must escape, frightened by her lack of memory, she cannot comprehend that her home Birka is long gone and far away. Breaux does an excellent job bringing the reader into Astrid’s mind and seeing her paranoia and fear, her confusion and inner struggles. Even once the secret of her past as a Valkyries is revealed through her sister, she is still faced with even deeper struggles and decisions. Like all great epic tales, this one delivers the deep character development and inner conflict to match the action that is going on outside of the character’s inner struggles. The relationship of Warren and Astrid is hot and cold. There are some graphic sex scenes but their love and passion is a contrast to Astrid’s warrior goddess nature. The world they live in is being sieged upon by demons and Astrid must use her powers as a Valkyrie to save herself, Yrsa and the town. Typical of hero’s in epic tales like this, things are not so easy. Astrid must make sacrifices and choices that will impact the rest of her life, and the lives of the people she cares for. Breaux shows this inner struggle and lets Astrid’s personality take over the story driving it forward. The other characters react to Astrid and further the plot along showing their own personality traits and allowing them to be dynamic characters not just filler for novel. The overall development of plot and characters is well balanced making it appealing to people looking for an adventure as well as a love story.
Astrid is the focus of the novel, but her interactions with the other characters brings forward additional stories for Kevin James Breaux to add to the series. He already has the next book in the works and I am sure it will continue this epic journey and bring more characters to life as he did for Astrid.
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.