Author: T.L. Greylock
Genre: Mythological Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.
Raef Skallagrim wants to take the sea road. His ship is fast and sleek, his crew skilled and eager, and they will seek out new lands and win fame in the eyes of the gods. But Raef’s father refuses to allow the journey and when a stranger brings word that the king is dead and a gathering has been called to choose a successor, Raef must set aside his dream for his duty to his ancestral lands and his father.
When factions split at the gathering to choose a successor, Raef finds himself mired in bloodshed and treachery. Forced to make an uneasy alliance with a man he does not trust, Raef must navigate the tides of a war among three kings while seeking revenge for cold-blooded murder.
But winter has come early to Midgard, and even the gods will feel the cold.
In The Blood-Tainted Winter, Raef dreams of going off to sea along with a crew, find fame and discover new lands. Unfortunately he has to set aside his dreams because the king has died, and duty calls him and his father to go to a gathering to choose the next successor. But this doesn’t work without the necessary intrigue, and even some bloodshed. Raef is forced into an uneasy alliance while he sees revenge while three kings battle for the throne.
I don’t want to give out too many spoilers, so I only briefly touched upon the plot. The most powerful part of the book, in my opinion, is the characterization. Raef feels vry realistic. He has to make some tough decisions, choosing between duty and taking revenge, and he really struggles with that.
Although mythological fantasy, there wasn’t as much world-building as I’d anticipated. Instead, the story focused more on the characters, what drove them to do what they did, and the plot. It was a pleasant read, but I wouldn’t have minded finding out more about Raef’s world. Maybe in the next book?
Recommended to anyone who enjoys fantasy with lots of intrigue.