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Fenrir    by M. D. Lachlan order for
by M. D. Lachlan
Order:  USA  Can
Prometheus, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Set in the days when the Vikings raided all the European shores, M. D. Lachlan's Fenrir is a historical fantasy, thoroughly immersed in Norse magic and mythology (in which Fenrir is the wolf whose destiny is to kill the god Odin at Ragnarok, the end of the world). In this very gory and often horrific fantasy, individuals are forced to live, love and die terrible deaths again and again in different lives through the ages - as they repeat their destined roles.

As Fenrir opens, the Vikings besiege Paris, demanding that its ruler, Count Eudes, hand over his sister Aelis to them. With the Vikings are the Raven siblings Hugin and Munin, a sorcerous duo, who seem to thrive on self mutilation, torture and death. Occasionally helping Aelis are mysterious wolfman Sindre and a merchant, Leshi, sent on a mission by Prince Helgi, ruler of the Rus. Another key player is frail saintly Confessor Jehan, renowned as a healer - he is reinvented several times during the story.

Essentially, a disguised Aelis flees and keeps on fleeing across Europe, pursuit (by several parties) always hot on her heels. There are captures and betrayals, and massacres at every turn. What pulls readers through the story though, is the question of who plays what role in the neverending saga - the 'cycle of blood - the god comes to earth, the wolf comes to earth and kills him.' And will Ragnarok, 'the twilight of the gods', come this time around?

Though I can't honestly say that I enjoyed Fenrir, a horrified fascination kept me glued to the pages to the very end.

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