*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review*
A Mighty Dawn by Theodore Brun
Sworn to honour.
Broken by betrayal.
Hakan, son of Haldan, chosen son of the Lord of the Northern Jutes, swears loyalty to his father in fire, in iron, and in blood. But there are always shadows that roam. When a terrible tragedy befalls Hakan’s household he is forced to leave his world behind. He must seek to pledge his sword to a new king. Nameless and alone, he embarks on a journey to escape the bonds of his past and fulfil his destiny as a great warrior.
Whispers of sinister forces in the north pull Hakan onwards to a kingdom plagued by mysterious and gruesome deaths. But does he have the strength to do battle with such dark foes? Or is death the only sane thing to seek in this world of blood and broken oaths?
Hakan son of Haldan, chosen son of the lord of the Northern Jutes. Is the protagonist of this EPIC novel!
Throughout the novel, he will face many challenges that will shake everything he has ever known, to the core……
The prologue opens with a prince on a hunt, he is attacked by a deer. But the attack leaves so much surrounding mystery. When have you ever known, a deer savagely attack a hunter? Are shadowy forces at work?
In the land of the Jutes and in particular, the farmstead of Vendlagard; the lifestyle and hierarchy of the Viking tribe is fully explained. There is a great feast to take place. For Hakan to finally pledge his oath to his father and the kingdom. We learn that Hakan is not a ‘picture perfect’ image of a great warrior. A man whom walks with a limp. We learn why he has such a limp and the story of his parent’s past.
At the feast we learn Hakan is in love, with his cousin Inga. They have a secret love affair of great depth, and are waiting for the appropriate time to inform Haldan of their intentions to marry.
At the feast a stranger arrives, promising tales of future wisdom. The tribe entertain her notions and listen in earnest. But she begins with riddles and curses “you will bear much pain, but you will never break”
“You will fall and rise again” she informs Hakan.
Haldan tires of her dramatics and hangs her!
This novel is accurate to historical fact. The Vikings were savage and brutal. The reader should be under no disillusions of the level of violence within this novel.
Similarly, the story of the Gods is explained. Odin, Frey & Freya, Thor, Njord, Loki, Tyr and Weyland are all covered in detail. The Vikings passion for their gods and their belief system is sacred.
At the feast, a fight breaks out between Hakan and Konur (Hakan’s sworn enemy). The fight is over Inga’s attentions and honour. But could have much deeper repercussions, for both the tribes and ultimately lead to war. At Haldan’s insistence the pair agree to shake hands. But the feud is far from over……..
Hakan awakens the next morning, to discover he is being sent on a mission to several of the external villages. His father believing, he has brought disgrace to the tribe, with his fight the night before.
When he arrives at nearby village Vindhaven, he finds a village burning. Women being shackled and stolen, the stinking air of death lingers, Hakan knows he must report back to his father immediately!
‘You’re to be a man, not a monster’
When Hakan returns, a battle is launched, to protect the tribes honour. What comes, shows the full life/death experience of a young Vikings life. But whilst Hakan battles for his tribe’s honour. Konur returns to Vendlagard and Inga is in fear for her life….
“A man cannot mourn forever. But he can remember” Haldan
When Hakan returns victorious from the spoils of war. He is met with a beautiful but shaken Inga. She informs him, that she is with child and they must ask Haldan for a marriage before the child is born. Hakan is apprehensive, he knows how the hierarchy of the tribe would organise such marriages. His father would be a fool to waste two young lives. When marriages could bring more alliances and wealth to Vendlagard.
“The summer was full of light. Now, all I see ahead is darkness. I want to run but I don’t know where. I’m afraid, Hakan” – Inga
When their love affair is exposed. Old secrets are exposed, that bring great pain and devastation to everyone at Vendlagard.
Hakan is destroyed, as a man, a lover and a Viking. He renounces his birth right. Leaving Vendlegard for good…..
‘He was a stranger. Here. Everywhere. A man owed nothing. Trusted by no one, with no one to trust’
‘In the darkness of his pain, it seemed to shine like gold. Like the first day of a mighty dawn’
This novel is brilliantly written, with incredible detail and emotion. You become heavily invested in the characters and the trials they face; in their search for a better future. For historical fiction it has incredible accuracy and I CANNOT wait to read the next instalment in the series!
It also explores the underlying theme of ‘not all kin, is blood related’.
It is a story of redemption and courage. Good vs evil. Mystery, magic and illusion will all play their part.
An outstanding debut 5*
***The blurb on the cover recommends the novel for fans of The Game Of Thrones series. Having read all the Game Of Thrones novels in just 13 days! I can confirm that the recommendation is 100% spot on!***
Check out the other blogs on the #AMightyBlogTour