REVIEW: Blood Eye by Giles Kristian
BOOK 1 of 3
Historical Fiction is a passion of mine. A great author can turn their meticulous research into a glimpse into histories most defining moments. The Viking raiding parties meant certain death and destruction to small villages that hugged the English Channel and the North Sea. In Raven we get a snapshot into that dangerous time thru the eyes of Osric a young carpenters assistant. Osric is an orphan with one very distinctive feature, an eye that is completely blood red. Osric isn't very welcomed in his village. Only Ealhstan, his employer shows him any kindness.
Everything changes when a Viking raiding party lands on the shores of Osric’s village. When he hears the men's voices something stirs inside of Osric and her realizes he can understand their speech. The head of the Vikings is Sigurd. When he sees Osric, Sigurd is immediately convinced that he is a favorable omen from the God Odin.
Feeling charitable, Sigurd decides to trade with the people of the village instead of pillage. Things go smoothly until the local priest tries to poison the warriors and instead wakes the fighters blood soaked wrath.
Osric is spared and taken aboard Sigurd’s ship with his master Eallhstan. While onboard Osric is renamed Raven and put to work on the ships oars.
Despite his new favored status, things go from bad to worse with the crew and ships of the Wolf Pack raiding party and Raven must decide who he stands with and what he will do to survive.
This was a very absorbing read! I was drawn into the tale and captured by Giles narrative. It’s apparent that significant research has been done into the nature of the time period, yet the book reads quite like a contemporary read. It was very interesting seeing how the Wolfpack crew rely on omens and superstitions. Sigurd has many changeable moods but keeps fast to his faith in Odin. This is fortunate for Raven, since his life is spared, but their is a definite culture shock on Raven’s side.
I enjoyed watching the character’s growth and all the action scenes. Giles walks a thin line between exploring the brutality of the time period and showing the surprisingly admiral qualities of the raiders.
A really enjoyable read, looking forward to the next 2 books.
Thanks for being on the tour.