Foreword Reviews

The Raven God

The Legends of Orkney Series

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

A fantasy-filled tale of courage and redemption, revenge and remorse, Alane Adams’s The Raven God captivates.

Armed with nothing but his wits, his magic, and a temperamental pocket-sized ship, Sam Baron finds himself once again in the center of a desperate quest to save mankind in The Raven God. Alane Adams infuses the ancient lore of Norse mythology with fresh new voices in the third Legends of Orkney book, continuing her exhilarating middle-grade fantasy series.

Thirteen-year-old Sam, aka Son of Odin, is no stranger to championing a lost cause. When an invincible army of fire giants, aided by a scheming Loki, crosses the veil from the realm of volcanoes, lava, and bloodthirsty flying boercats and sets its sights on Orkney, the young witch joins forces with old friends and new allies as they cross oceans, navigate the underworld, and battle ferocious beasts on a journey of redemption.

Picking up right where the second book in the series left off, Sam and his friends are still reeling from the events of Kalifus Rising—in particular, Sam’s guilt over his role in the death of Odin. A violent chain reaction motivates his search for Helheim, underworld of the gods.

From Keely, a half-Eifalian archer, to Howie, a squire training with the Orkadian guard, and numerous witches, dwarfs, giants, gods, goddesses, and monsters, there are dozens of players involved. While the scarcity of repetition and backstory will delight fans of the series, those new to the Legends of Orkney or in need of a refresher might appreciate a glossary of characters, terms, and places for clarity and quick reference.

In the style of the fractured fairy tale and “other side of the story” motifs, The Raven God offers unique twists and original perspectives on some of Norse mythology’s most infamous names. The tale of Baldur and the mistletoe, for example, is retold traditionally, whereas creative narrative license is used liberally with mischief-maker Loki and his children, the giant wolf Fenrir, sea serpent Jormundgand, and half-corpse daughter Helva.

“We need an epic adventure together!” Howie tells Sam, and while their paths diverge, the action-driven plot guarantees that they get not just one adventure, but many. There is never a dull moment. Action is aided by a treasure trove of enchanted objects, dark and light magic, mystical beasts, Valkyries, mermen, and mermaids to spark the imagination and assist or obstruct the questers.

Despite the perilous exploits, there is still plenty of emotion, heart, and internal rumination. Fighting is tempered with reflection from the heroes, the villains, and those that emerge in the end as both.

A fantasy-filled tale of courage and redemption, revenge and remorse, The Raven God captivates with colorful characters and rich Norse legends.

Reviewed by Pallas Gates McCorquodale

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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