You Die When You Die

Angus Watson. Orbit, $15.99 trade paper (560p) ISBN 978-0-316-31738-2
In this bloody, brutal historical fantasy, Watson (Reign of Iron) kicks off a trilogy inspired by the Vikings’ settling North America a millennium ago, albeit with a magical twist. The Hardworker Viking tribe’s exile to a strange shore has been followed by a century of relative peace and security, but now the tribe, begrudgingly protected by the indigenous Scraylings, is being targeted by other Vikings following a prophecy stating they’ll destroy the world. The survivors of the initial attack, taking the advice of a boy who can predict the future, flee towards the safety of “west of west to the Meadows.” Pursued by a squad of superpowered, ruthless female warriors and beset by dangers both internal and external, their numbers dwindle to a mere handful, including hapless would-be warrior Finbogi the Boggy and his crush, the much more capable Thyri Treelegs. When Finbogi and his tribe are forced to stand and fight for their lives, they discover a greater purpose behind their ordeal. Watson’s saga relies heavily on profanity, crude humor, and copious amounts of carnage; his protagonists have feet of clay, and death comes frequently and is rarely heroic. Much like a horrible car crash, this story seizes the reader’s attention but can’t really be called enjoyable. Agent: Angharad Kowal, Writers House U.K. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/03/2017
Release date: 06/20/2017
Open Ebook - 560 pages - 978-0-316-31737-5
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