Published: March 23, 2021
Publisher: Arctis Books
Series: Ravneringene #1
Pages: 519 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.5/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
An epic fantasy trilogy from Norway about thousand-year-old secrets, forbidden romance, and what happens to those who make a deal with the devil comes at last to the United States!
15-year-old Hirka has always been an outsider in the world of Ym: she’s the only person without a tail, and the only one unable to access the Might, a current of power that runs through the earth.
Her differences become more and more of a concern as the date approaches for the Rite—the ceremony where everyone is to be blessed by the all-knowing Seer and the Council of powerful families who rule in His name. With only a few weeks until the Rite, Hirka discovers the shocking secret behind why she is tailless and Mightless: she is not from this world. As an infant, she was brought through an ancient stone circle known as a Raven Ring, and as long as she’s in Ym, the passageway between worlds remains open inviting terrifying creatures called the blind to follow.
No one can know the truth of Hirka’s identity, especially
not Rime, her childhood friend who just might become something more. But is Rime is hiding secrets of his own?
The first in a trilogy, Odin’s Child is a thrilling modern fantasy epic.
Ever since I saw this series on one of my favorite Booktuber’s shelves, I wanted an English translation of this series. I didn’t even know what it was about – I just thought the covers were way cool and it was from a Norweigan author which was also cool. Much to my delight, this ended up being a pretty cool story!
Hirka is tailless and magic-less amongst a people where that simply does not happen. Her lack of a tail is easily explained – her father claims a wolf tore it off when she was just a babe – but the lack of the Might (magic) is simply unheard of. Among the Ym, when a child reaches the age of fifteen they attend the Rite, where they are tested for strength of magic and sort of choose a path for their lives. As the Rite draws near, her father reveals that he is not her true father and she is not from this world, but is truly a child of Odin. It’s unclear if this means she is merely human or some other race entirely, because the descriptions are somewhat vague. We know Hirka has hair red as flame and no tail, but beyond that there isn’t much detail.
As one would expect, Hirka is distraught by this news. She had hoped her childhood friend Rime could help her through the Rite by sharing his Might, but the knowledge that she is not of this world haunts her. Not only does she not belong, but her presence keeps a gateway between worlds open, allowing monsters known as the Blind into Ym. Hirka’s journey is full of twists and turns and kept me on my toes!
Rime also gets plenty of POV chapters, which is fortunate because he was quite interesting! He was the sole heir to one of the Council seats, but rejected it to join the rank of Kolkagga assassins. His goal being to carry out the true will of the Seer, who the council claims to represent. He has torn obligations, desiring to help Hirka but he also must carry out the will of the Council and these two things are at odds with one another.
There is yet another POV of one of the newly elected Council members. He’s a right bastard by all counts and has something seriously wrong with him. He ends up trying to hunt down Hirka as well. The key word here being “try” – she’s a tough one to hold on to!
Odin’s Child is a fascinating story. I loved the setting and the Ym – it’s honestly quite rare to have truly unique non-human people in fantasy these days. Lots of humans, but few elves and dwarves, and even fewer that are something else entirely. It lent an air of additional mystery to the story, which had plenty of unexplained or vague things going on. I like being plunked down in an unfamiliar world, where everything is new and unexpected and you get to figure things out along with the characters. Overall, I found this to be a fresh, exciting story with plenty of action, politics, and some genuinely emotional scenes. I can’t wait for the sequel!