Series: RuneWarriors


ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2011

Thidreck the Terrifying, killed by Dane the Defiant, is back in action on an errand for the goddess Hel to find the Ship of Doom. The ultimate objective for this task is world domination for Hel, and the reward for Thidreck is restoration to life and human status. After Dane steals the Book of Fate, the irate Norn Skuld promises to give Astrid the right to choose release from her oath as a Valkyrie if Dane destroys the Ship of Doom and removes Thidreck from the picture permanently. Dane and his boon companions set off in their usual hilarious and quarrelsome manner to save the world. The plot and subplots are handled with masterly finesse: Action and suspense are nonstop. Although the climax requires strong suspension of disbelief, the resolution will satisfy fans completely. Familiarity with the first two RuneWarriors books (Shield of Odin, 2008; Sword of Doom, 2009) will aid readers through the twists and turns. Established fans will devour this excellent series finish. (Fantasy. 11-14)Read full book review >
SWORD OF DOOM by James Jennewein
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 1, 2010

After a visit to the king of their Viking realm, teen hero Dane, female warrior Astrid, village sage Lut and various supporters and rivals set off to rescue Dane's mother (who's been kidnapped by the villainous Godrek Whitecloak) and recover Odin's ring, an ancient artifact that is the source of never-ending treasure, from a cave guarded by a monstrous sea serpent. A flavor of the Norse is provided by the insertion of such mythological people, places and objects as the Valkyrie, the Norns, Asgard, Utgard and Thor's Hammer. Otherwise, the characters and language are pure 21st century. After a slow start, the plot develops punch and the book becomes a page-turner. Readers who are drawn in by the low humor and make it through the extended setup of the book's first quarter will be rewarded with a rollicking adventure, lots of body humor and a rousing climax. Developmental issues of identity, sexual innuendo and vividly described violence make this book appropriate for an older audience than the publisher-recommended range of eight to 12. (Fantasy. 11-14) Read full book review >
SHIELD OF ODIN by James Jennewein
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

It's easy to see that this was written by two Hollywood screenwriters—readers can almost watch the CGI effects unfolding as they go. When the local Viking overlord kills Dane's father and abducts a childhood friend, he and some neighbors set off on a quest for rescue and revenge that catapults an ill-matched crew into hideous perils and hilarious misadventures. A rollicking page-turner with definite appeal, the book falls short in its historical details, taking liberties with Viking life: Anachronistic language abounds, as do 21st-century concepts, ambitions and family relations. Nonetheless, the plot—of the classic "good commoners vs. evil-lord-with-grandiose-ambitions" variety—churns consistently on, hurtling from disaster to cliffhanger to a climactic deus ex machina resolution. Characterization is not the point; with the exception of Dane and his friend-turned-love interest Astrid, the good guys are all pretty obvious caricatures, while the villains are there to drive the plot. Although it can be overly detailed at times, boys especially will enjoy the pell-mell action, the wisenheimer narration and the belch-and-flatulence humor embedded in the adventurous tale. (Fantasy. 12-15)Read full book review >