Friday 16 September 2022

The Ring Breaker (The Midwinter Dragon Book 1) - Jean Gill

Loyalty has a price the children pay

In the twilight of the old gods, when the last Vikings rule the seas, two cursed orphans meet on an Orkney beach and their fates collide.

Stripped of honour, facing bleak loneliness ahead, Skarfr and Hlif forge an unbreakable bond as they come of age in the savage Viking culture of blood debts and vengeance. To be accepted as adults, Skarfr must prove himself a warrior and Hlif must learn to use women's weapons. Can they clear their names and choose their destiny? Or are they doomed by their fathers' acts?

The award-winning author of The Troubadours Quartet returns to the 12th century, with skalds instead of troubadours and Viking warriors instead of crusaders. Get ready for authentic medieval adventures steeped in poetry, politics and passion. Perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Matthew Harffy and Madeline Miller.

What did I think?

Jean Gill has done it again!  The Ring Breaker is an epic adventure and it's only the beginning!  What an outstanding start to an exciting new historical fiction series.  I love Jean Gill's writing, particularly her historical fiction, so I dived headfirst into The Ring Breaker knowing that I was going to love it and I was not wrong.  

Set on Viking Orkney, the research is impeccable and I learned so much more about the period than I previously knew.  The place and the characters are brought to life so beautifully for the reader that it is like stepping through time and observing events as they are happening.  I love that so much of this story was based on fact and The Ring Breaker has one of the best author's notes I've ever read - it's as fascinating as the novel itself.

The story follows two orphans: Skarfr and Hlif, whose stories are intertwined throughout the novel.  I was absolutely fascinated with the jarl hierarchy and loved the interactions between all of the characters.  The Viking names make it a bit tricky to remember who's who but there is a list of characters (both historical and fictional) at the start of the book.  I probably pronounced their names completely wrong in my head but I was so immersed in the story that I didn't stop to consider the correct pronunciation.

Although I'm already a fan of Jean Gill's writing, her writing in The Ring Breaker is exquisite.  From the rich and vivid descriptions to the lyrical poetry.  I shall never forget one particular dreamlike scene for as long as I live.  It's giving me goosebumps just thinking about it now.

Filled with danger and adventure, The Ring Breaker is immersive, evocative and stunning; this is historical fiction at its finest.  Very highly recommended.

Many thanks to Jean Gill for sending me a digital ARC to read and review; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much, Michelle! I'm glad you enjoyed Viking adventures as much as 'The Troubadours'.