Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Ragnarok Chronicles by Nicki J. Markus: #Excerpt #Giveaway @NickiJMarkus

The Ragnarok Chronicles
Nicki J. Markus

Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Mythology, M/F, Romance, Young Adult
(Not recommended for readers under 16 years of age.)
For Ragnarok will be completed....

Nothing marks Cassandra out—except her visions. She’s only ever seen small, insignificant things. That is until the strange frost arrives.

With her normal life turned upside down, Cassandra is plunged into an extraordinary and terrifying world of Norse gods and rampaging giants, ancient feuds and broken prophecies.

A handsome stranger offers aid. But can Cassandra really trust him? More importantly, can she trust her own judgment when his slightest touch sets her heart and her body aflame?

Surtr had retired to his private chambers. He sat before the roaring flames that raced up and down the walls, a goblet and a plate of roasted meat on the table beside him, and pondered his existence. It was not something with which he would usually allow his thoughts to be troubled, but the visit of his sometime-nephew had left him in a reflective mood. From the moment the dust over the battlefield had cleared, life had become tedious. Before Ragnarök he and his people had had purpose: enemies to fight and goals to pursue. But those enemies were vanquished, all goals long since achieved... so what was left for them? What reason did they have to wake each day, to eat, to sleep? He pushed his half-finished meal to the side and picked up the goblet. When he realised the cup was empty, he let it clatter to the floor.
His warriors grew restless. Training was not the same as battle. No staged tournament could ever hope to replicate the thrill of real combat, of war. Eldjötnar needed to smell blood on the air, to inhale the scent of burning flesh. They needed to feel the scorching flames at their back, within them, and raise their battle cries to the skies. Nothing less would satisfy the ravenous demands of the fire. He knew many of his guards had been upset when he let the godling leave intact. Oh, they had wanted to rend the pale flesh from his bones piece by tiny piece until his shrieks echoed around the Great Hall. And Surtr could not deny it would have been delightful sport—yet nothing more than a fleeting pleasure, over in a moment. No, he had made the right decision. The trickster would perish, and soon, but for the present the boy was more use to him alive. He may only be a half-breed, but Fárbauti’s son was the closest thing to an enemy they had left. And Surtr needed an enemy, something to unite his people before his kingdom erupted into anarchy.

Discontented rumblings had reached his ears of late. Viewing his warriors from his throne in the Great Hall, he had noticed factions forming where before the eldjötnar had fought and died as one. It was not that he feared for his crown or his head, for he ruled with an iron fist and all knew the price of disobedience, of rebellion. However, he would not sit idly by and watch his realm descend into civil conflict. The Sons of Múspell were the supreme race now the Æsir were dust and they had an image and a reputation to maintain, regardless of how few remained alive to see it. 
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The complex mythology contained in THE RAGNAROK CHRONICLES is a mixture of  truth as we know it and imagination.  The characters are larger than life and yet are written from a new perspective that I enjoyed. The considerable length of this novel, 678 pages, ensures that the plot is a long and winding journey. Although slowly paced, I enjoyed the characterization of well known gods and how they are intermixed with contemporary beings.

View all my reviews
Also available in Paperback from: The Book Depository
Nicki J Markus was born in England in 1982, but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia with her husband. She has loved both reading and writing from a young age and is also a keen linguist.

Nicki launched her writing career in 2011. She published works through Wicked Nights Publishing and Silver Publishing before both companies closed their doors. She is now self-publishing some of her works.

Nicki also writes M/M fiction under the alternate pen name of Asta Idonea and has had several short stories published by Wayward Ink Publishing.

Nicki works as a freelance editor and proofreader and in her spare time enjoys: music, theatre, cinema, photography, sketching, history, folklore and mythology, pen-palling, and travel.

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