2015 · 3 Stars · Adult · Historical · Reviewed for NetGalley

Odin’s Child – Bruce MacBain





An old grudge erupts into violence as Odd Tangle-Hair refuses to back down from the men he believes shamed his father and betrayed their heritage by turning away from the old gods in favor of the White Christ. But when the violence escalates and Odd’s family bears the brunt of it, he must leave his beloved Iceland behind and find his own way in the world.The golden age of Viking conquest is fading when he takes to the seas, but his journey is full of adventures, and he meets priests and politicians as well as many unscrupulous men all too eager to take advantage of a young man abroad for the first time.Beautifully written, impeccably researched, and deeply rooted within the oral tradition of story telling, Bruce Macbain has woven an evocative saga that will sweep readers into the past and plant them firmly in Odd’s rapidly changing world.”


“[Macbain’s] writing is vivid and compelling, and his understanding of Norse and Icelandic culture and history is woven deftly throughout the tale. The cast of characters is well-fleshed out and Odd makes for a wonderful protagonist. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and I eagerly await its sequel. Highly recommended.” – from the Historical Novels Review

“Meticulous research and poetic writing make Odin’s Child a multilayered masterpiece in the genre of historical fiction…Written with passion, peopled with superbly realized characters, I was gripped from the very first page of this historical novel.”

— Carol McGrath, author of The Handfasted Wife and The Swan-Daughter


*I got this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I hate to admit that it took me forever to really get into this book. I would read 10 pages or so then put it down. I finally sat down and told myself that I wouldn’t get to read or buy any other books until I finished reading this one. So I did. It took til about 100 pages into the book to finally look forward to reading the next page. Now don’t get me wrong, the writing was very good, but the characters fell a little short in the beginning. I thought that there was going to more viking plundering and killing. Closer to Prince of Thorns. There were of course, parts of the book that was brutal and washed in blood, it just didn’t quiet hit home for me. The author Bruce MacBain can really paint a picture by describing almost every little thing. And that really reminded me of Jean Auel’s Earth Children series. You know the one that takes her 8 pages to describe a cave. There were many places that the author could have really skimmed over and added more action and suspense to others. My favorite part of the book was:

“Who is guarding you?”
“Whipped dogs,” the answer came back.
“What difference to Pohjolan women — aiiii!”
And Einar’s cheery voice rang out, “One throat cut. Who’ll be another?”

Dark, funny, what I was expecting and hoping for with this book.

All that aside the book was very enlightening. I feel like I learned a lot about vikings and what life was like back then. You can really tell that not only did the author do a lot of research but that he really loves what he is writing about.

While I didn’t love the book, I didn’t hate it either. When the next book does come out I plan to read it (the first book leaves off in such a way that you feel like you have to) as soon as I can. I really hope that the author can really make the cast of characters flourish.

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