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Buy for $24.47
To the Danes, he is skraelingr; to the English, he is orcnéas; to the Irish, he is fomóraig. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. He is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind - the last in a long line of monsters who have plagued humanity since the Elder Days.
Drawn from his lair by a thirst for vengeance against the Dane who slew his brother, Grimnir emerges into a world that’s changed. A new faith has arisen. The Old Ways are dying, and their followers retreating into the shadows; even still, Grimnir’s vengeance cannot be denied.
Taking a young Christian hostage to be his guide, Grimnir embarks on a journey that takes him from the hinterlands of Denmark, where the wisdom of the ancient dwarves has given way to madness, to the war-torn heart of southern England, where the spirits of the land make violence on one another. And thence to the green shores of Ireland and the Viking stronghold of Dubhlinn, where his enemy awaits.
But, unless Grimnir can set aside his hatred, his dream of retribution will come to nothing. For Dubhlinn is set to be the site of a reckoning - the Old Ways versus the New - and Grimnir, the last of his kind left to plague mankind, must choose: stand with the Christian King of Ireland and see his vengeance done, or stand against him and see it slip away.
Scott Oden’s A Gathering of Ravens is a novel of vengeance, faith, and the power of myth.
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Like The Last Unicorn, Only the Unicorn is an Orc
I read this because I am a REH fan and I heard that Oden writes in a similar way. I enjoyed this audiobook and recommend it to any fan of Norse myth and early British history. The prose is magnificent and rich with flavorful detail. The narrator does a wonderful job voicing the characters.
This is an ugly story about an ugly character that does ugly things for ugly reasons. It is grimDARK. Unlike Abercrombie, who balances his darkness with humor, Scott Oden balances the dark ugliness of his tale with gorgeous prose in the timeless manner of Robert E. Howard. There is no virtue to be found in Grimnir, only an inhuman and inhumane sense of purpose. This is not so much a power trip fantasy as it is an imaginative perspective through the eyes of a living nightmare. Grimnir is not a man, nor is he bound by mankind's morality, past or present. Grimnir is unto Conan as Conan is unto Prince @#$%ing Charming.
So, do I recommend this book? Depends on who I am recommending it to. Judge the book for what it is, a grim, ugly, violent fantasy escape with a bit of real world history added for texture. If you are expecting your own human goodness to be reflected back at you at any point in this story, then you have forgotten that the dark reflects nothing.
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