Sigurd Haraldarson has proven himself a great Viking warrior and a dangerous enemy. He has gone a long way towards avenging the murder of his family. Yet his vengeance is not complete. The oath breaker King Gorm - who betrayed Sigurd's father - still lives, and, so long as the king draws breath, the scales remain unbalanced.
But Sigurd and his wolf pack of warriors are not at full strength, and to confront the king now would mean death. And so they sail west to Sweden, where a local warlord employs them as mercenaries, but in a brutal siege Sigurd, Floki and Valgerd are taken by the enemy, their fate to be sacrificed in return for the gods' favour. Escaping the priest's knife at the last moment, they steal a sacred treasure: Gungnir, the legendary spear of Odin.
The journey Sigurd and his colleagues are destined to take is punctuated by blood and betrayal. Uneasy alliances are made; silver, fame-lust and the Odin spear draw men to Sigurd's banner until he commands a war host of his own. It is time to return to Norway to face the oath breaker. When storms rip the sky, men say that it is Odin, the Wild Huntsman, summoning the souls of the dead. And Sigurd's course is set.
His return to his homeland foretells death. He will lead his warriors against King Gorm in an epic fight to the death, and the clash of ax and sword and shield will shake the timbers of Valhalla itself, for Sigurd's bloodlust is like the Spear God's passing, and his revenge will be the Wings of the Storm....
©2016 Giles Kristian (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks
A man with a child in his ears
Yes Giles Kristian has continued in “Winter’s Fire” where he left off in “God of Vengeance”, with more bloody Vikings! And let’s be honest that’s just how we like our Vikings, drinking, swearing and fighting at the drop of a horned helmet. The action is frequent though maybe not quite so much as the first book and remains violent and graphic. The narration is extremely good and well-matched to the story. It feels authentic with both the Vikings and the mysterious character from Alba being voiced with consummate expertise.
So, the book delivers on the Primal Scream level, is well written and engaging but it would be a big mistake to write it off just as an action story. Kristian is clever in a number of important ways above and beyond the basic story telling. The way that the vocabulary of the narrative switches to be appropriate to each character’s particular view point is meticulously observed and as we have come to expect there is great respect paid to the historical detail. There are some interesting tactics deployed to get Sigurd and his crew through some of the scrapes that they find themselves in.
I would also add though that in what could have been a male-dominated series Kristian finds room for several very strong female characters who play leading roles in their own right. A mysterious witch, the shield-maiden Valgerd and particularly Sigurd’s sister Runa all play prominent parts. It wasn’t all just about Odin back then . . .
In summary these first two books have been an excellent ride. The story is genuinely satisfying in itself even though this part leaves Sigurd with much to do to in order to fulfil his oath of vengeance. The scene is now set for a fabulous end to the series and I simply can’t wait!
Winter's fire carries in the tale superbly. I have listened / read a few in this genre & Giles Christian's books have so far been my favourites.
Excellent characters & a quite wonderful tale brought to life excellently by Philip Stevens.
I steamed through this audiobook. Always the sign of being riveted. I really look forward to part III.
I really enjoyed the first book, so was excited to get my monthly credit to buy the next one, but now feel a bit robbed.
Good story and performance, but not a lot of it. The final lines were so formulaic that I knew it was about to end, which kind of added insult to injury! 😕
"Well written with a great story"
I have listened again and probably listen again in the future.
Hard to have a favorite character. They are all so good.
"A good solid story."
When I first started listening to this series, it seemed like it was going to be your generic "Viking tale". You know lot's of raiding, killing, drinking, sex and talk about the gods. I figured there would be that one character who wasn't quite like the rest and that character would turn out to be our hero/ adventurer with a better moral compass then his companions. But this story is so much more then that. It's deep and thought provoking. It really feels like your right next to them on this adventure. The characters are all compelling and diverse, and yes you have that one character who is set a part from the rest, but every character in this book brings life too it. I would compare this read/ listen to the great Bernard Cornwell stories. It really is a good solid story, and I can't wait to see how it plays out.
"As good as Giles other books."
Has me dreaming of the sword song. Gets you away from the constant repetitive lifestyle human beings live in now. We used to live for adventure , and the norse knew that better then most.
"Fun, fast and enjoyable!"
Interesting fast moving believable story with well developed characters with vivid destinations. I look forward to reading the next story upon its release.
Great book already dying for next book. Couldn't stop listening. Every book is even better than the last
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