Dagger Heart is the first book in the Odin Blood series and one that, as of now, is still free for Kindle. The book takes place in Norway in the 700s and follows the adventures of Erica, a strong-willed heroine with an independent streak.
I was captured from the first page by a tom-boy named Erica, who does not fit in with her Viking society. She is an orphan and enters a strong friendship with Finn, the son of the king. As they grow older, the sexual tension increases, but they don’t talk about their feelings. While compelling, I settled in, thinking this was going to be a simple love story.
In a good way.
I love dark stories, and this one certainly has enough darkness. Erica finds herself drawn not only into a conflict as the center of the three brothers, Finn, Paul, and Kriger—but she also finds herself involved with a witch and a strange clue offered through the dying words of the Queen. And then, just as Erica is torn between marrying Paul (who is kind as far as she can tell) and pursuing Finn (who she loves with all her soul), reanimated corpses appear to attack the village.
Yes, this is a dark tale, right up my alley. My only wish is that the author had gone into more depth establishing the setting. In my opinion, there were not enough clues about Viking culture to make the characters and setting stand out from a generic medieval setting. I would have liked more of these details up front. Still, the story was creative, exciting, and well written, and I recommend it to anyone who likes dark fiction.