The Skalds Black Verse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When a sinister creature murders one of the conquerors’ soldiers, Brohr’s violent reputation makes him the prime suspect. Haunted by a rage-filled ghost, Brohr’s disturbing possessions quickly become the reason for all of his troubles…and the only way he can survive. With a grandfather bent on dragging him into a failed rebellion, and a deadly comet hurtling toward his embattled world, Brohr sets off on a quest to save his people and uncover the truth about a war stretching back into the ancient past. Can he discover the true power of a Skald’s voice before the world itself ends in ash and flame?
I have always loved dark fantasy and The Skald’s Black Verse really did give me all I wanted. This is the stunning debut from Jordan Loyal Short and is one you need to take notice of and read. There is nothing about this book I didn’t like, the characters are well done the fights are bloody, the magic comes from either blood or death, and top all that with a well written plot and you have The Skald’d Black Verse.
To start with Brohr is you normal small town young man wanting to leave his small town and strike out for the larger world, but he keeps getting pulled back. After a day at a festival and drinking all day he ends up in a fight, but the man he fights is murdered by a mysterious creature that disappears though the docks into the sea. This one event sets him on a path that shows that he is no normal man. The main plot centers around Brohr, but there is another part of the story about a conquered people under the rule of men from another planet. With tensions already stressed by the oppression the Norn are under it doesnt take much to set the villagers against the tyrannical lords over them.
The magic in this tale is dark you either have blood magic or a binding, where you bind the life source of an animal into a stone to use for a purpose later. Both styles of magic involve singing instead of speaking an incantation which is different, and the binding magic also relies on runes to invoke the powers that are desired for the binding whether you want a destructive bind, a restorative bind or whatever.
The events of the story push Brohr to his physical and emotional limits but he is able to cope and adapt to push through all that happens to him. I loved the dark grittiness to this book and am excitedly awaiting the second book in the series.