Monday, 27 May 2013

Valkyrie - a poem

Valkyrie

Cries of war caress her skin,
Dying breathes flicker in her hair.
Pale opal flesh, born of moon and stars.
Sharp cruelty and smooth understanding
Revolve around two black eyes.
 
Shrieks of her sisters summon her
To perform her one fatal duty.
Fear and courage,
Her two invisible hounds,
Hunt amongst the fallen.

Ethereal scents lead her to the salvation
of the Brave and Honourable.
Foul stenches lure her to the damnation
of the Cowards and Traitors.
 
Pleas of mercy
Are sirens of noise in her ears
That can not be tolerated.
They spoil the  chimes of those who yell
In tone of love,
For those they must leave behind.

At such altruistic demands,
Her cold heart beats,
Pushing still blood,
Pulsating once silent neurons,
Flashing memories in her black soul.

A spark ignites and dies.
 
The oath she has sworn
An unmemorable time ago,
Locks down on her stirring mind.
Ice enforced doors shut out thoughts
Of her past,
Of her life,
Of her loss.
 
Escorting souls to Asgard,
Selecting warriors for the All-Father.
Endlessly preparing for Ragnarok.
 
A divine privilege and honour
Requires the sacrifice of a life-time.

By Rebecca Wilson

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Becky Bookworm Book Review * Skin Deep by T G Ayer * This books bites and scratches



ABOUT THE NOVEL:

Title: SKIN DEEP
Series: The DARKWORLD Series
Volume: 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy - NA
Publication Date: 30th APRIL 2013
Format E-Book : B00CKGOKY4 http://amzn.to/Yi5rg4
Format: Paperback
ISBN-13:  978-1484836705 http://amzn.to/18sBHPs
Publisher: Infinite Ink
Pages: 390

EXCERPT:
"The cold cocking of guns set my body on fire.
It also did something worse. With mortal fear gripping me, my imminent Change wasn't taking second place anymore. My body churned the fear and my Panther grasped at the visceral power of the adrenalin in my veins.
I ran.
A gunshot echoed around the garden, the sound ping-ponging off the aging brick walls of the surrounding apartment buildings.
I gasped as a blast of searing pain slammed into me.
As a bullet buried itself deep within my shoulder."

DESCRIPTION:

Panther Shape-shifter Kailin Odel just wants to be normal. Leaving her clan, and her Alpha responsibilities, to live with her grandmother in Chicago had been the best thing for her. Only then did she discover her ability to track and kill the soul sucking undead creatures called Wraiths. Now she protected the humans, and had something to be proud of.
But, when she discovers the body of a murdered shape shifter, Kailin has to come to terms with the reality that her own kind are just as vulnerable as the humans.
The closer Kailin gets to the killer the more she has to face the intricacies of her people. When the time comes can she accept who and what her real purpose is?

**** **** ****

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As a valkyrie-wanna-be at heart I of course loved Ayer's Valkyrie novel trilogy. So I did have some misgivings when I started her latest supernatural book but my fears proved weak as Ayer plunges you into the chaotic and secretive world of the skin walkers (aka shapeshifters). Not of the dog kind but of the feline kind and even then she surprises you with the other types such as foxes, cougars, lynx etc.
Then she introduces you to another secertive character who is a mage that works within the police force to keep these two versions of reality colliding and causing bloodshed. Yet it is bloodshed which leads these worlds to collide, interestingly neither the mages or the skin walkers are aware of each others existence; and this one mage and one skin walker don't seem able to detect the equal amounts of supernatural about the other. This personally irritated me a little bit but it was always forgotten when Ayer ignites quite literally the fiery passions between them which should ultimately have revealed a lot of magic to the panther skin walker Kalin but it only seems to confuse her about his feelings towards her. However this heated interaction proves to have devestating consequences when the reader learns more about the personal history of this particular mage.
Despite a series of kidnappings, mysterious drug use and murders filling at least one half of the book when that series of events reaches it dramatic conclusion it seems the reader isn't allowed a chance to breathe a sigh of relief. As Ayer has Kalin learn more secrets and charge into more danger, to do with the increase in Wraith attacks due to her acting as a secret Wraith hunter. These secrets to me felt too deliberate, staged almost, especially when they are presented to Kalin by the utterly elusive grandmother character. It does serve the purpose to lead Kalin to discover an even bigger secret in the form of one character who is mentioned a lot in the build up. But ultimately the reader nor Kalin for that matter is offered any reason or explanation as to why this particular character is located in the particular area they were found. Nor at the very end when a lot of relationships have been rebuilt or started does Kalin actually reflect on one other important character who is trapped in the same place as afore mentioned character.
Ultimately though the plot is full of twists, particularly demonstrated by the switching points of narration, from one person in the form of Kalin and third person when told from the mage's point of view. There are of course clan politics when dealing with animal based characters which are portrayed nicely and not stereotypically with the felines showing they have as much inner strength and power as the wolves. Kalin does show some of the expected mouthy, independent, rebel qualities of a young woman standing on her own but she also shows some vulnerability in body and spirit especially in the many battles she gets caught up in and when her friends and family prove to be in danger. The characters are intriguing and entertaining and there is always something happening in each chapter propelling the reader forward through to the end leaving them breahtless and perhaps asking for more. It's a good book that is a blend of urban fantasy, crime thriller and supernatural battles with a dash of romance thrown in.



**** **** ****
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

T.G. AyerI have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognise that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practise given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each other's loves – it works wonderfully…

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.

Contact Details: 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Vikings raid Calon FM's Talk - again! *tonight* + Mythical nordic animals

Following my successful and very enjoyable 2 hours on Calon FM's Talk Books show back in February, when in Wrexham for my Library degree course, I've been invited back on again during my final week this month.

I will not able to speak specifically about myself or about vikings or historical fiction in general as the theme for books tonight is animals, animal stories, biographies, characters, authors? But hey I still can at least mention norse mythology which is full of animals of great importance to man and Gods alike.

So here are a run down of my Top 3 Favourite norse fantasy books that feature the great and the beastly creatures of norse mythology:

Number 3:
Broods of Fenrir (Broods of Fenrir, #1)Broods of Fenrir by Coral Moore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a super action, thrill, romance, danger, tension and drama packed norse fantasy from a very talented writer. It has a large dose of norse mythology but subtle enough to not baffle any non-nordic readers, has all the drama and action of a Sookie Stackhouse adventure plus the mystery and danger to go with it. I loved reading it every page and was gutted when it finally ended which was too soon! Coral really captures the spirit, essence and character of wolves and beautifully transports it into these mythical werewolves. I can only pray to Odin (and perhaps Loki) that Coral does indeed write a sequel to this fantastic book. Thankfully there are still some delights as she's written two novella's giving some history and insight into the characters in this main book.
It is a highly recommended read for those who love wolves, werewolves, magic and norse mythology.

View all my reviews

Number 2:
Fade (The Ragnarök Prophesies, #1)Fade by A.K. Morgen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
WOW. At first glance this may appear to be the typical plot line that Twilight feeds from in that a troubled teenage girl falls in love with a young lad who had a dark secret to hide but they are both drawn to each other like magnets. As they both discover more about each other through a series of sometimes dangerous and mysteriously powerful encounters they both accept that their passion for each other can not be extinguished and so must learn how to love each other without going insane. Yet as their love finally kindles even more mindblowing secerets are revealed in each, opening their eyes to how much they are connected to each other and in way unimaginable. Their very connection, let alone their very existence together as a couple, will be part of an ever expanding mythological puzzle that unless solved quickly and by them alone will not only endanger some of their close friends (who hide their own secrets) but perhaps the future existence of mankind itself.
This has all the power and seduction of Twilight packed with the drama and tension of Trueblood. Nothing and no-one is what they appear in this book and with each chapter you are more drawn in and captivated by what is unfolding. This is a truly envigorating twist on the Ragnarok myth with characters never before used in such a manner and I dare say A K Morgen is a genius for it. Without giving too much away if you are a reader who not only likes norse mythology but loves wolves then this is a book for you. It has the powerful bite of a wolf but is as hypnotically gripping as a wolf's eyes. I am so delighted this seems to be part of a series and I desperately await the next book.

View all my reviews

Number 1:
WolfsangelWolfsangel by M.D. Lachlan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
MD Lachlan has become one of only three authors I can name who have magically blended the historical world of vikings with that of norse mythology. He now joins the ranks of my favourite norse fantasy authors being Betsy Tobin with her fantastic Ice Land and Joanne Harris with Runemarks.

He grasps the reader by the hand in a firm yet gentle grip of storytelling that enchants the reader as much as the characters of Vali, Fealig and Adilsa are bound by fates, magic and the gods of war and mischief.
It is a norse saga of kings, princes, beserkers, fair maidens, long ship battles, raids, kidnap, sorcery, runes, witches and of course wolves. Yet it is as fine a saga tale as Shakespeares with all its twists, turns, plots, subplots, mysteries and magical mayhem.

The story is so full of suprises both exciting and shocking that nothing is ever as certain as it appears until you reach the final page and even then MD Lachlan leaves a nice twist which will be the build up to his next book.

It is as it says no the front cover a DEFINITE MUST READ for all fans of VIKINGS and NORSE MYTHOLOGY. You won't be disappointed and you'll be left hungering for more like the wolves of chaos in the story.

If I could give this book 10 stars I would. It is that goood!

View all my reviews

If you want to hear me talk potentially about these titles (no guarantees I can't go totally viking and hijack the show for proper) and other books that feature animals that I've read and enjoyed please do listen live tonight from 6pm via the webstream link on the Calon FM website.

Do you have a favourite animal from norse mythology? Why not tell me in the comments below. 

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Becky Bookworm Book Review: Valkyrie by Kate O'Hearn

HOORAH! Another Valkyrie focused norse fantasy novel to join the ranks of my favourite authors alongside Tee G Ayer, Ingrid Paulson, Greg Van Eekhout and Mark Neumayer. And this is aimed at the under 15s so is great for showing young readers that Vikings were an awful lot more than a murderous pillaging mob - well, their mythology wasn't so blood thirsty hehehe. Click on the jazzy cover image to see my full review at my Valhalla of Viking fiction at FantasyGuide.com.
Valkyrie

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