REVIEW: BLOOD WILL FOLLOW / AUTHOR: SNORRI KRISTJANSSON / PUBLISHER: JO FLETCHER BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
The second book of the Valhalla Saga, Blood Will Follow sees Ulfar and Audun separated as they flee from the influence of the Old Gods. However, they soon discover that the deities are far from finished with the duo, as Christian King Olav continues to extend his influence across the land.
In the manner of George R. R. Martin, Kristjansson ensures the story is extremely well grounded. Focusing primarily upon the threat Olav poses and the power plays, political manoeuvring and manipulation of his court, the story allows for a much more interesting kind of conflict than in the first book. The bloody battles are now put aside for a somewhat calmer narrative, punctuated by the odd fight and the ambitions of Valgard, a brilliantly written turncoat and opportunist.
While still retaining frenetic skirmishes and brawls, this time round Kristjansson offers a deeper insight into his two protagonists. Readers are given a much better idea of just what makes Ulfar and Audun tick as, separated and with their own paths to follow, they attempt to traverse the land. This extends to a great many of the supporting characters, who are far better realized here than in Swords of Good Men. There is rarely one you do not wish to know more of or do not want to see as a potentially major character who will add more to the story at a later date. This keeps any reader guessing as to where the plot will turn next and who will become a prominent part of the ongoing story.
Fans of David Gemmell’s work should feel right at home with this one and, while the relentless profanities make some scenes feel extremely juvenile, it’s a strong entry. Fans of Norse history and mythology should definitely enjoy this one.