cover image Shackled Fates

Shackled Fates

Thilde Kold Holdt. Solaris, $14.99 trade paper (656p) ISBN 978-1-78108-925-5

Can Ragnarok, the prophesied battle that will end with the death of all the Norse gods and the destruction of the world, be averted? That question is at the center of the superb middle volume of Holdt’s Hanged God epic fantasy trilogy (after 2020’s Northern Wrath). Ragnar Erikson has suffered through multiple deaths, and his search for a way to be “released into his rightful afterlife” backfires, dooming the deity Odin. Now Ragnar redoubles his efforts to fix his mistakes and prevent disaster, which would include a personal loss in the death of his daughter, Hilda. Meanwhile, the giant Buntrugg is warned by another god, Surt, that Ragnarok isn’t actually the worst thing that could happen. Holdt teases a future that’s both mutable and not, as her expansive cast works to interpret a cryptic runic message shared by the newly freed trickster god, Loki: “change changes and does not change back, and in the end the ending will not come to an end.” The resulting creative and sophisticated plot raises fascinating questions about destiny. Readers will be chomping at the bit for the finale. Agent: Jamie Cowen, Ampersand. (Nov.)