Children of Ragnarok by Cinda Williams Chima
Publication Date: November 8, 2022
Summary from NetGalley:
Since Ragnarok—the great war between the gods and the forces of chaos—the human realm of the Midlands has become a desperate and dangerous place, bereft of magic.
Sixteen-year-old Eiric Halvorsen is among the luckier ones—his family has remained prosperous. But he stands to lose everything when he’s wrongly convicted by a rigged jury of murdering his modir and stepfadir. Also at risk is Eiric’s half-systir, Liv, who’s under suspicion for her interest in seidr, or magic. Then a powerful jarl steps in: He will pay the blood price if Eiric will lead a mission to the fabled Temple at the Grove—the rich stronghold of the wyrdspinners, the last practitioners of sorcery.
Spellsinger, musician, and runecaster Reginn Eiklund has spent her life performing at alehouses for the benefit of her master, Asger, a fire demon she is desperate to escape. After one performance that amazes even herself, two wyrdspinners in the audience make Reginn an irresistible offer: return with them to the Temple to be trained in seidr, forever free of Asger.
Eiric’s, Liv’s, and Reginn’s journeys converge in New Jotunheim, a paradise fueled by magic and the site of the Temple. They soon realize that a great evil lurks beneath the dazzling surface and that old betrayals and long-held grudges may fuel another cataclysmic war. It will require every gift and weapon at their command to prevent it.
ARC provided by Harpercollins Children’s Books via NetGalley for an honest review.
The Seven Realms series remains one of my all time favorites, so I was eager to snap up this new series and be swept away once again. This one is based on Norse mythology, which was another win for me. I am happy to say that I was not disappointed either. This is a stunning book with awesome characters, marvelous world building and an exciting plot.
I love all of the characters we have met so far, even the evil ones. Although I feel as if we have only scratched the surface of these characters, because they have so much to them and so many layers. Especially with Eiric, I feel that there is so much more to him than meets the eye. Liv also has a lot going for her. I love that she doesn’t take crap from anyone, and can give it right back and then some. She is fierce and brave and can take care of herself in this world. Reginn is also fierce when she needs to be, and has an acerbic tongue. I enjoyed watching her skills grow and her character change as she became more confident in her skills. I also kind of like the fire demon, Asger, even though he treated Reginn badly, he could be sort of a good guy under the right circumstances, although it still has to be of benefit to him.
The setting is wonderfully described, both New Jontuheim and the Archipelago, although I do hope a map appears in the final production. The magical system with the runes and everyone at the temple having a special skill is well thought out and explained without it being an info dump. The pacing is solid, although there is a bit of a slow start. There is lots of action and a little bit of romance as well. I really enjoyed the plot as well there are lots of layers and not everything is as it seems. The story is told from both Eiric’s and Reginn’s points of view through alternating chapters. They meet briefly at the beginning and again at the end, but spend most of the story apart. I loved how the Norse mythology is woven into the story.
Overall this is a fantasy that has a lot going on, wonderful characters that you will like and can root for. A plot that is exciting and includes lots of mythology and a very interesting magical system. This is one that I highly recommend you put on your TBR list.