Review: Lord of Slaughter / Author: M. D. Lachlan / Publisher: Gollancz / Release Date: Out Now
Some stories are worth telling again and again and the cycle of Odin is one of the oldest tales in Western culture. Lord of Slaughter is yet another retelling of the tragic tale of the god of battle, victory and death, and also happens to be a gripping page turner.
The tale takes us to Constantinople in the time of the Roman Empire. A dread curse looms over the great city, and an army of Viking warriors, formally employed by the Emperor, lays in wait outside expecting entry. The story focuses on multiple characters and their actions, each protagonist slowly finding their fate bound to the others; we have a scholar who has fled his homeland with his beautiful and heavily pregnant wife, an assassin who is seeking out the scholar (for the scholar’s wife is also a noble lady who should not be with the scholar), a barbarian who thinks he is a tool of the norse gods, and a young boy with madness and murder in his heart who looks to find his courage and become a man.
Lachlan weaves the stories of each of these characters into a heavily mythic narrative. Essentially, Lord of Slaughter is a thriller where the intrigue is focused upon the dark dealings of mad gods and the political shenanigans one would find in the court of a Roman Emperor. For those who like their novels with a touch of history and a smattering of occult mystery and plenty of blood soaked intrigue, this is well worth your time. It’s also the last (and actually the best) book in Lachlan’s Claw series, and though it works well on its own, those interested may want to start at the beginning with Wolfsangel.