Friday, January 7, 2011

Eagle by day [Immortal Warrior, The Immortal Brotherhood Series, Book 1]

I was one sentence into Immortal Warrior when I came across this name “Hakon IronToe”. Once I stopped laughing, I seriously considered lighting the book on fire and then throwing it out of the window. I managed to check the impulse, but that’s mostly due to the fact that it’s a library book, I’ve already been banned from using the library like 4 times (I meant to return those, I swear) and I am trying REALLY HARD to keep my record clean.

Once I got past the shock of Hakon fucking IRONTOE, I got sucked into the story fairly quickly. A bunch of Norsemen (IronToe makes slightly more sense now, but I still wouldn’t want it for my handle) are trying to get their hammers on some treasure. Cwen, a witch, is all like HELL NO. There is a MIGHTY BATTLE and Cwen’s son is killed. She is majorly pissed and curses the warriors to live as men by day and beasts by night (or beasts by day and men by night, because consistency is clearly not Cwen’s strong suit). And they get to live forever. After an unspecified amount of time has passed, we meet Ivar Graycloak (eagle by day) who is a high-muckety-muck vassal of William the Conqueror, Jr. He does some vassal-y stuff for the King, is given some land as a reward and off he goes to see to it (also, he gets a wife, Alaida, whose grandfather owned the land Ivar was just awarded). Ivar scoops up his buddies Brand (bear by day) and Ari (raven by night) on his way to his new place. He meets Alaida and is all HEY BABY and Alaida is all OUT OF MY FACE JERKBAG. She marries him because she has been commanded to by the King, but she is not happy about. She does have sex with him, because hey, now that she’s married, why not? Ari has a vision of a baby turning into an eagle and flying out of the window and tells Ivar (by note, on account of them never being people at the same time) to stop swiving his wife unless he wants to pass the curse on. Of course Ivar has not told anybody about the curse and freaks right the fuck out. Alaida, who already doesn’t trust Ivar because she’s never seen him by the light of the sun, is now supremely pissed because not only does she have this husband she didn’t want but now he won’t even be a sexy-funtime-husband to her. Anyway, so as not to spoil the story, the rest of the book goes like this: Angst, sexual frustration, suspicion, SURPRISE, side story, PLOT TWIST, the end.

The Good Shit

My expectations for Paranormal Romance* are low. REALLY low. But the characters here are nuanced and subtle and they behave like real people. The hero is a regular guy who happens to have shit luck. He is certainly capable of some douchbaggery but he is trying to be a good guy and make up for it. The heroine isn’t a ridiculous bit of fluff with more hair than sense. She’s smart and stubborn and she isn’t afraid to be herself in a time that wasn’t exactly friendly to willful women. She also genuinely cares for the people she sees as under her protection. The love between the hero and heroine comes on gradually, not like a lightning strike of instant TRUE LOVE (which is rarely believable). The characters speech is neither too modern nor extremely old fashioned (thankfully, no thee’s or thou’s) but peppered with some medieval terminology that adds to the setting. I didn’t see the plot twist coming until a few pages before it happened. The sex scenes don’t overwhelm the story and are descriptive enough to be interesting without being too crude.

The Bad Shit

The third-person viewpoint switches between characters without warning, often in the middle of a passage. The plot twist required a number of amazing coincidences with a HEY IT’S MAGIC as the means of explanation (or utter lack thereof). The ending was satisfying but a little too neat.


Immortal Warrior was entertaining and well written and I’ll probably read at least the next two books. I’m not pissed that I read this and don’t feel like I wasted my time even if it is a pretty fluffy book. I sincerely doubt I would have bothered with any of it, but I had managed to snag a free copy of book three for my Kindle and my compulsive habits demanded that I start from the beginning.

If you are Fantasy purist, don’t bother with it. If you like Urban Fantasy, you’ll probably like this.

Immortal Warrior; The Immortal Brotherhood, Book 1

*I've read some good paranormal romance, but the majority has been overwhelmingly awful

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