Updated: Jan 20
In Blood Feud we see the infamously prolific Simon Turney tackle a new historical era. Unsurprisingly, he absolutely nails it!
Blood Feud follows the story of Halfdan, who as a mere youth, had to watch on powerless as his Odin worshipping father was murdered by an unforgiving Christian lord. The book is set in the time that Christianity was finding its way among the people of Scandinavia, and starting to become the default religion. I find books set in this era fascinating. A real ‘old gods v the new’ underlying theme runs beneath the action, and it adds an extra layer to the story.
Halfdan is pagan, a worshipper of Odin and Thor. He is a likeable character. A young man, he builds himself a crew of warriors from different backgrounds, worshipping different gods, and manages to bind them together, to make them his. He is kind, tolerant, funny and charismatic. But underneath that there is a burning desire, an oath that remains unfulfilled. He must kill the man that murdered his father.
We follow Halfdan through medieval Europe, as he sails with his new found ship and crew in search of the man that has caused him so much pain. When he finds him, he is the commander of a fleet, surrounded by an army so large Halfdan cannot touch him. So he joins his company, sails under his banner, and sets off for Georgia, where his new lord seeks to carve himself a kingdom.
Halfdan fights for his new lord, puts up with the bile thrown his way from the unlikeable priest that stands always at his master’s shoulder. He excels, earns the respect he is due, and waits for the right moment to strike….
In all it’s a brilliant first instalment to a new series, full of action and quick-witted dialogue. I steamed through it, I’m sure you will too.