Shackled Fates by Thilde Kold Holdt - Book review
by Anca Antoci
Author: Thilde Kold Holdt
Amazon: 4.60 (buy)
Our review: 5.00 (read)
I binged The Hanged God Trilogy and today I'm reviewing the second book, Shackeled Fates.
Following on the breakout success of Northern Wrath , Holdt weaves myth and history in a deeply magical saga.
As Ragnarok looms, the trickster Loki breaks free from his chains.
In the battle to come, all shall die, but Ragnar will do anything to save his gods.
Einer scours the nine worlds for Hilda, who walks among gods and goddesses, searching the truth of the Runes.
For centuries Siv has run from her past, but she knows that to protect her daughter, and Midgard, she will have to face her worst fears.
It is time to confront the Alfather.
About the author
Thilde Kold Holdt is a Viking, traveller and a polygot fluent in Danish, French, English and Korean. As a writer, she is an avid researcher. This is how she first came to row for hours upon hours on a Viking warship. She loved the experience so much that she has sailed with the Viking ship the Sea Stallion ever since. Born in Denmark, Thilde has lived in many places and countries, taking a bit of each culture with her, and is currently based in Southern France where she writes full-time.
Book 2 in The Hanged God trilogy picks up immediately where book 1 leaves off and further expands the tale. Loki, the trickster, breaks free from his shackles as Ragnarok approaches.
Shackled Fates was better than Northern Wrath in certain ways, and I adored it. Shackled Fates is a tale about friendship and grief. We had the Norse culture in Northern Wrath, but Shackled Fates take on the mythological component of their society.
The pacing is excellent, with plenty of action, and the characters are fleshed out and multi-layered.
This book's cast of characters is immensely diverse, and each of them is embarking on a trip into the depths of The Nine Worlds.
The complexity that comes with each plotline is that each individual has strong motivations: whether they are seeking a loved one, in search of a place where they belong, or are striving to save the world from Ragnarok. The stakes are high, the quests are intense, and the entire book morphs into one massive emotional roller coaster.
Holdt excels at descriptive narrative, which is great for those of us who aren't experts in Norse mythology.
The pacing was perfect, with ups and downs thrown in for good measure. It wasn't a continual action, but there was always something to look forward to, something to keep things moving.
Some characters die in this book (because it deals with the afterlife), but they are not lost from the plot. Even the dead characters from Book 1 continue into Shackled Fates, and we gradually discover how their Fates remain tethered together in the afterlife, tangled up in the critical events that inevitably lead to Ragnarok.
Shackled Fates is written from the perspectives of several characters, including Odin's ravens, Hugin and Munin. Character development, world-building, twists and turns, and great writing all come together to create an atmospheric marvel!
Another interesting aspect is the book's perspective on conversion to Christianity. Due to their love of warfare, the Scandinavians are often portrayed in popular culture as the aggressors, yet the Christians of this era were just as vicious, especially when defied. They didn't treat anyone who didn't adopt their faith with kindness.
The journey is fascinating, but the ending is heartbreaking. If you decide to read it, this series will hook you in immediately. I look forward to reading Slaughtered Gods, the third and final book in the trilogy.