A sequel in a series no matter the medium, whether that be a book or movie can be hard to pull off, especially when it follows a successful first entry. However, Eric Schumacher provides a gripping continuation of Hakon’s Saga in Raven’s Feast. It still contains that same realism setting of the Viking Age from God’s Hammer but builds on it with new characters and higher stakes. Previous characters are once again a forefront to the story adding more depth and range to favorites such as Sigurd and Egil. The action scenes continue to be a highlight of the series, making each battle different than the last.
Throughout the story we still see that same teenage boy that we want to cheer for, but now we witness a king that burdens a whole realm on his shoulders. With that comes responsibility beyond our comprehension, forcing Hakon to make some difficult decisions that leads into great storytelling. Nevertheless, not much time as passed since the battle with Erik, and yet Hakon becomes more ruthless, catching me off guard from his previous self. As a reader, I embrace the darker tone of characterization because it makes that character more complex and real. Hakon reached this point quicker than I anticipated, but it is understandable after the countless deaths from battle continue to consume his mind.
Religion plays a crucial role in Raven’s Feast giving the reader a constant tension between two different beliefs, the Christians and the Norse gods. Can they live amongst each other? After living your whole life embodied by one faith, how does one react to a foreign faith? Can Hakon continue his firm belief in the Christian God being surrounded by people who despise it? These are the type of questions that get answered as they unravel by the end of the book.
Raven’s Feast is an excellent book that makes this series a must read, although it’s difficult to match the perfection of the first book in the series, God’s Hammer. Going Viking gives this book 4 out of 5 shields!
You can catch this book as an audio version as well. Narrated by Shaun Grindell.
For more information about author Eric Schumacher and the other books in Hakon’s Saga, visit his website: www.ericschumacher.net
You can also follow him on Twitter: @DarkAgeScribe