Blood Will Follow – Valhalla Saga #2 – Snorri Kristjansson
Release date: June 5th, 2014
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Age Group: Adult
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Ulfar Thormodsson and Audun Arngrimsson have won the battle for Stenvik, although at huge cost, for they have suffered much worse than heartbreak. They have lost the very thing that made them human: their mortality.
While Ulfar heads home, looking for the place where he thinks he will be safe, Audun runs south. But both men are about to discover that they can not run away from themselves.
King Olav might have been defeated outside the walls of Stenvik, but now Valgard leads him north, in search of the source of the Vikings’ power.
All the while there are those who watch and wait, biding their time, for there are secrets yet to be discovered…
He’s done it again! ‘Blood Will Follow’ is the second book in the Valhalla Saga, following the fascinating ‘Swords of Good Men’. The story of Ulfar, Audun and Valgard continues after the battle at Stenvik and all the mysterious and baffling things that happened there.
This second installment is a book that will keep you guessing and that is just as brutal at times as the first book was. Prepare for a story filled with mystery, some gory fights (though readers expecting the same bloodshed as in ‘Swords of Good Men’ might not get their fill) and a deeper insight into the main characters’ personality and life.
The main characters are the three familiar faces we got to know in the first book: Audun, Ulfar and Valgard are all going their separate ways after the events in Stenvik, all of them encountering their own specific difficulties and struggles. Audun and Ulfar have escaped Stenvik and are now making their way through the woods. Audun doesn’t want to think about what happened on the city walls during the last moments of the battle in Stenvik and is just traveling to get away from the beast that’s inside of him.
Ulfar feels lost after the terrible loss he suffered during the battle and Valgard is still with King Olav, who continues his quest to force the faith of the White Christ onto the ‘unbelievers’. Valgard keeps being the most difficult to fathom character of the whole book, just like he was in the first one. You’re never sure of his true alliances or motives, he has the weirdest shifts in reactions to certain situations and he seems far too ambitious for his own good. Needless to say, Valgard remains a very intriguing character.
This second book in the Valhalla Saga was different from the first one, but though it focussed on other things and other aspects of the story, it didn’t feel like it was any less good than ‘Swords of Good Men’. Character development seemed to be central theme here and that is something I always like to read about. Audun and Ulfar really grow into their characters on their separate journeys and we learn a lot about their personality, their struggles and their views for the future.
If I have to highlight a secondary character whose interaction with one of the guys really struck me then I’d have to say to I particularly liked the interaction between Audun and Helga, which really showed the more reserved Audun as the person he really is. Helga was also a really interesting character to read about and she certainly enriched Audun’s storyline quite a bit.
The little hints of magic are again splashed here and there in the story and always made me very excited. Audun and Ulfar both meet a mysterious man during their travels and after a while I began having my suspicions about his identity. When it turned out I was right I was very excited about all the possibilities this could bring for the third book. If you want a little more of the myths with your Vikings, then this book will not leave you disappointed.
The ending left us some big promise for the storyline in the third book and I’m now eagerly waiting to read what will happen there and how it will all play out.
‚Blood Will Follow’ is a very entertaining book that is wrapped in mystery and builds up the story towards what I’m sure will be a satisfying climax that only an author like Snorri could write.