Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Crimson Flower Review Team
Read: September 14, 2012
Cover Blurb: He came through the centuries to find her, the girl who could save them all. Annie Pearce runs through the streets of the city, chasing a demon, the likes she has never seen before. As she works to find out where the demon came from, the Wizard Guard encounters something even more bizarre. A tenth century Viking. When Annie gets sucked into the past, she must struggle with the knowledge of the prophecy that tells of her destiny. The one she must fulfill if she is to return home. What happens in the past will change the world.
Viking Chieftain by Bob Nolin
Used with permission of the artist
Many reviewers have claimed to feel real chemistry between Annie and Cham, but I didn't see it. For much of the novel it seemed a very one sided affair; Cham the adoring, almost obsessive, devotee and Annie, the tolerant heroine whose affection for him is only lukewarm. From what I understand, the relationship is a prominent story line in The Day of First Sun and had I not bypassed the novel, I might have had a greater understanding and appreciation for the dynamic between these characters.
Unfortunately I didn't feel the same way about other components of the piece, particularly those relating to the use of magic. Magic is something of an ambiguous concept. I'm cool with that, but I still like to see a certain degree of explanation. "'We could divine for them using a written timeline like a map... I think it should work just like a map once I link it to a crystal. I can use the fabric from the demon.'" Say what? There is no explanation to how this works! How does one link a crystal and a piece of paper? Are we to assume the crystal is also linked to the fabric? Why is a office of magic conducting what I assume to be anything from old fashion research to carbon dating if such a mapping technique could possibly exist? In cases like this I feel it might be beneficial for Steines to consider adding more detail to the text.
Obviously I have my criticisms, but the book is not entirely without merit. Steines' combining of Nordic and Anglo Saxon culture and mythology to put a twist on the story of Beowulf was a stroke of genius. In terms of rehashing the classics, She Wulf is definitely one of the better publications I've had fortune to come across.
Maybe not the page turning adventure I was anticipating but certainly worth a look. Especially to those with an affinity for the classic English epic.
"I see you struggling with this, but you're a good woman and you will stay and help us. It's in your nature to fix what is wrong. You are lost and need to find your way."