Raven Sons of Thunder by Giles Kristian

It was only a few pages into the first book of this series that I knew I would be reading the second one, Raven Sons of Thunder; an excellent decision.  Once again the author has crafted a superb tale of Sigurd the Lucky and his Sword Norse wolf pack.  In this installment, Raven, Sigurd and the rest of the crew have their sights set on making a deal with the King of the Franks, Karolus/Charlemagne, by selling him a valuable Christian relic that will make them richer than they can imagine.  This requires them to journey deep into the kingdom of The Franks, a perilous undertaking given the pervading atmosphere of fear and hatred between the followers of The White Christ and the heathen Norse.

The story is replete with fierce action scenes filled with the brutality fueled by bigotry and the remorseless seeking of revenge.  The author’s descriptive powers are on full display throughout the adventure not only in the battles fought but also in the many scenes depicting life in 9th century France.  I was particularly amused by one scene that takes place in a tavern in which a Christian monk is hearing confessions from a couple English warriors who are now in the service of Sigurd.  While confessing their sins, a couple bare breasted whores are doing their utmost to tempt the newly absolved warriors.  Made me chuckle at the ironic nature of the situation.

The climatic ending of the story kept me up past my normal bedtime but it was worth the loss of sleep and certainly whetted my appetite for book 3, Odin’s Wolves.  So sally forth with Raven and Sigurd and enjoy the journey.