Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is a fantastic first book in a thrilling Historical Fiction Fantasy series. The book is set in 981 A.D. Ireland. The Viking King of Dublin is dead and his wife, Gormflaith, has plans to install her son on the throne. But there are several sons and uncles that Gormflaith must go through before she achieves her goal. Gormflaith also has a secret that she must keep to avoid death by those sworn to kill her race. Gormflaith is a Fomorian, an immortal race who can do fire-magic.

Fódla is one of the Tuatha Dé Danann with the gift of healing. Her kind dwell hidden in a fortress, forbidden to live amongst the mortals. Her kind hunted the Fomorian, believing that they eradicated the last of them. Fódla is sent on a mission to spy on King Brian Boru, a powerful man who aims to be High King of Ireland. She desperately wants to avoid war between the kingdoms, but she is not the only force working to maneuver the power structure of Ireland.

This is a great book. It immediately grabbed my attention and held it throughout. The character development of Gormflaith and Fódla is well done. Both women are complex and total bad-asses. The supporting characters are defined well enough to play off the MCs, but it’s clear that several of them have secret agendas that I hope to find out more about in the next book. The pacing is steady throughout the book and the worldbuilding is subtly sprinkled throughout. The book ended on great cliffhangers and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Head of Zeus. All opinions are my own.