- File Size: 1095 KB
- Print Length: 396 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1542602912
- Publication Date: February 4, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01NAU965G
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #256,482 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Soul's Fire (The Northwomen Sagas Book 3) Kindle Edition
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I enjoyed the first two books in this series, God's Eye and Heart's Ease. Her world building and knowledge of Norse culture are thorough. Her research shows but she doesn't overwhelm us with it. Both prior books in this series also had strong female protagonists.Soul's Fire (The Northwomen Sagas Book 3)
Soul's Fire is Astrid's story. We first met her in God's Eye. She's strong, in body and mind. Fierce, physically tough, and independent, her whole being, her self image, the core of who she is, is a Shield Maiden. A true warrior. She's equal to any man, and in Viking society that's respected. She has earned her place as her Jarl's second. But Astrid... she broke my heart. From the outset of the book we feel Astrid's restlessness, her discontent, though she's oblivious to it. She's hard, brusque and impatient with her comrades. To her, they seem to have different priorities. They have mates and children. She can't understand it. She's somewhat contemptuous of their happiness, judging its made them soft and vulnerable.
Now this is where we get what I think of as the Fanetti treatment. The total deconstruction of someone's id. You know, the essence of what makes you, well you know, you. This story was deep. The total deconstruction of a strong woman's pysche. I'm not minimizing the physical trauma, it was heinous. The torture brutal. I can say that, while assuring you that Susan Fanetti is so good at her craft she conveys this physical torture without gory drawn out scenes. We live Astrid's pain and bafflement without feeling like we've spent the afternoon with Hannibal Lechtor.
The emotional devastation is extremely well written. Susan Fanetti's understanding of the essence of someone's soul is remarkable. Her talent continues to grow, getting better and better. Her reconstructing of Astrid was brilliant. Without using any cliché plot devices, Astrid rises from the pits of hell. With the help of Leofric. His perspective, his motivations, his helplessness as he tries to work out the puzzle that is Astrid is riveting. His kindness and intuitive, if painful understanding of just what has been done to Astrid is heartbreaking. Leofric's strength, both emotional and physical is intrinsic in her reconstruction. To not understand love, of any sort, from any relationship - that touched me.
When I read Susan Fanetti's books, I want to give them my full attention. She draws you in with superb writing. Her main and supporting characters become living, breathing beings. They're complex, intelligent and interesting, bordering on intellectual. Their characteristics and personalities resonate. It was evident to me that Astrid was special to her. Leofric has joined Luca, Badger, and Nolan on my special list of Fanetti men. Her capturing of his perspective, the way she did with Luca Pagano from her novel Touch was fascinating and believable.
As always, after I reading one of her books, I'll be thinking about it for days after I finish it and that is priceless.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Strong. Women. Susan Fanetti loves women of strength. What's unique about her love shows in the multitude of ways she portrays strength and twists it to mean even more than it did when her stories start. She dives deep into the unforgiving depths of darkness. And she does it without apology. A true test of a woman's strength stems from how she responds in her darkest hour. It's a lesson that's as old and true as time. It's a real life theme ever present in Susan Fanetti's stories that I take with me, deeper into my heart, after each book she writes. To always remember my own strength will shine out of shadows I face. It's a belief we must hold onto and maintain. We must persevere.
With that, Soul's Fire to me was completely Astrid's story. Yes, it's a romance so don't worry. And it's a beautiful one at that. But more so than the others in this Northwomen Sagas series I felt as though reading Astrid's tale was a true calling to her power and all she could be even as she faced severe darkness, even if she didn't understand her own desires in embracing change. She made her own way with her own heart in times when she had desperate limitations. The romance was a subtlety connecting her and humanizing her more fully throughout the book. The complete maturation of Astrid and the strength of her spirit are the embodiment. She's a warrior at heart, through every facet of her life (this was the absolute key for me, recognizing warriors come in all forms and how Astrid shows us all her warrior sides), and Fanetti let her shine through the shadows.
Leofric. Um, yeah. Leofric. He rivals other heroes in his acute awareness of Astrid. Of her strength and courage. His acceptance makes him vulnerable in such a way that we want him to love us and believe in us. To see our struggles and bravery. His tenacity leaps from the pages and had me embracing him just as much.
The setting and depictions within the pages of the book as well as the culture provide an even richer reading experience. As I stated above I know next to nothing of Vikings or Norse mythology and I never feel out of the loop while reading these books. The intelligent writing of Fanetti allows for a novice Viking fan like myself to still be immersed within the culture. And to Google and learn more if I need clarification. It's obvious the amount of time and care spent in crafting this Viking world and it helps readers fully embrace it.
Soul's Fire is part of series. I recommend reading the series in it's entirety to gain the full insight and impact of the world Fanetti has created.