Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘The Throne of Ice & Ash’ by J. D. L. Rosell organised by Storytellers on Tour, this is the first book in The Runewar Saga and is also an entrant in this years SPFBO 7.
I hope that you will check out the book and the author, and enjoy the rest of the tour with the schedule in the banner below or (HERE).
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review, all views are my own.’*
In the frigid storms of winter, leaders and warriors are forged… Can the Jarl’s heirs avenge their kin and protect their throne from ancient foes?
Bjorn, son of the Jarl of Oakharrow, has always felt more at ease with a quill than a sword. Yet when tragedy strikes his family, he finds himself drawing a blade and leading a company of warriors into the cold, deadly mountains in pursuit of a mysterious enemy. But vengeance comes at a high price…
Aelthena, Bjorn’s sister, was born with the aptitude to lead, and she’s eager to prove it. But her society’s rules for women, and her love for her brother, restrain her efforts to command. As she walks the fine line between ambition and virtue, the city stirs in unrest, and even her allies question her right to rule…
Yet more than one city’s fate hangs in the balance. Mythic enemies emerge to conquer all humanity. And the only way they can be overcome is for Bjorn and Aelthena to unite their feuding peoples and master mysterious powers few humans have touched before…
The Runewar is rising — and it begins with the fall of the throne.
The Throne of Ice & Ash is Book 1 of The Runewar Saga, a Norse-inspired series by the author of the bestselling Legend of Tal books. Begin a new epic fantasy tale brimming with political intrigue, vast sojourns, grand-scale wars, and awakening magic…
The Throne of Ice & Ash was a terrific continuation of my recent trend of Nordic-inspired fantasy. J.D.L. Rosell was an author who had been on my radar for a while, and as soon as I saw the cover (it’s fantastic) I knew that this one was the one to start with, especially as it is the beginning of a new series.
Rosell has created a rich world, with the depth and breadth of Norse mythology and history, without becoming entrenched in those aspects. They’re there, and you can feel the obvious influence of careful research through the little details within the world, and the unfolding story, but it feels very natural and intrinsic to the storytelling rather than straying into info dumps. There was so much to learn throughout The Throne of Ice & Ash, but it was woven into the story to the point where you almost didn’t notice because you were so mesmerised by the tale the author was weaving. It’s this storytelling, and the plot which takes many twists and turns that I did not expect, that really establishes this book as its own creature with a backbone of familiar worldbuilding.
It was the characters that really made this book click with me. The two main characters, Bjorn and Aelthena are siblings, each following a very different path despite their shared past and struggles, and a strong relationship. The strength of these characters is that they both feel so very vivid and well-realised, and so damn human throughout the book, and Rosell knows just how to bring their personalities and emotions into play so that we can connect with them on a very human level. Bjorn was the easier to connect with in some ways, and his character arc was fantastic, and it was great to see his flaws, his uncertainty, his personality that was an ill fit for what path he’d been intended for play out, and to see it have consequences, good and bad and to see how he grew throughout the book.
Aelthena was a more challenging character, but she had to be. The opposite of her brother in many ways, many of her challenges were external, as she fought to make her place amongst expectations, traditions and political machinations that in many ways were set against her despite her abilities and personality. Her personality is stronger than Bjorn’s in a way that could be frustrating and fascinating in turns, and again Rosell does a fantastic job of treading that path through flaws and challenges, creating a character that demands attention, without losing than humanity that demands connection. As easy as it was to connect with Bjorn’s struggles and character, it was Aelthena who captivated me, and I looked forward to her chapters and seeing what her next moves on the chessboard would be.
There is a feeling of momentum throughout The Throne of Ice & Ash, carrying you through the twists and turns of political intrigue, the search for answers, and through some truly fantastic battle scenes. The action when it occurs is brutal and gripping and beautifully paired with schemes and plots, creating an almost relentless flow towards an ending that was nothing like I’d expected, wonderfully fulfilling, while also leaving the path open to the rest of the series. We’re also offered the most tantalising glimpse at the world and story that lies beyond the end of The Throne of Ice & Ash, and it feels as though this first book is the start of an avalanche that is going to carry us through into the rest of the series – and you can’t help but want it to bear you away.
The Throne of Ice & Ash was a fantastic read, and the perfect way to start a series and has left me hungry for the rest of The Runewar Saga, and this should definitely be on your TBR if you’re a fan or Norse-inspired fantasy!
About the Author:
J.D.L. Rosell is the author of the bestselling Legend of Tal series, The Runewar Saga, The Famine Cycle series, and the Godslayer Rising trilogy. He has earned an MA in creative writing and has previously written as a ghostwriter.
Always drawn to the outdoors, he ventures out into nature whenever he can to indulge in his hobbies of hiking and photography. Most of the time, he can be found curled up with a good book at home with his fiancée and two cats, Zelda and Abenthy. Find out more (and claim a free book) at www.jdlrosell.com.
If you’ve read it, or read it in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.