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Book Review - Windborn (Alex S Bradshaw)

Updated: Jul 29, 2021


A well structured novel with an entertaining character who dives into trouble in life and keeps going beyond death. Particularly oozing in Norse setting appeal, but keeping the existing culture at arms length to retain the setting. Some may see it as skimping on worldbuilding, but it doesn't need the dead weight and the setting works well being self-contained, with winter on one side, the sea on the other and war coming from upstream.

Edda is a strong character, and doesn't hesitate to get stuck in. It works well to a point, but it reminds me of a recent read of Stormblood. Character opens mouth, ignores any other argument, piles in and if not in conflict, then soon will be, then gets carved up or outmanoeuvred. That works well at the start to increase the conflict (Edda is royally crapped on to be fair all through the book) and expand the stakes. Two thirds of the way in and it becomes repetitive, or hard work in seeing the character not evolving to circumstance and thinking off any different tactic.

There are a few twists, particularly in the last third, with the villain and Edda's vengeance for her husband and the battle on the beach and island do well to round of the character, and let her rip with her abilities. The final epilogue was a clever touch, and paid off as a reward for her struggles in the saga. Her motto should be, 'if you seek revenge it will always be beyond your grasp.' It is a land with a wealth of future stories to be had and well worth keeping an eye on for future, and in SPFBO7.

For me it wasn't always plain sailing. I found the second third hard work, and I wasn't entirely convinced by the longboat scenes at the start, and some of the nautical terminology grated in use (pet peeve). Despite that, the ending raised it and having norse superheroes have at it, was one of the best renditions since reading Last of the Renshai and the Saxon Chronicles and you can smell the fires and steel. Cool stuff.

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