Yare’ Darkness Bound – Book One of the Nephilim Chronicles
Angels, Demons, Blood and Belief,June 20, 2014
My advice when picking this book up is to sit back and enjoy the ride, I know I certainly did.
The book follows the adventures of a young man named Jacob (commonly called “Jake”) in the novel. Jake has recently ceased his pursuits of becoming a priest due to doubts over the veracity of many Biblical lessons. In the early chapters, we learn that Jake is a runner as well as a sky-diver, and that he blames himself for the death of his father.
I was especially taken with the early chapters of the book which follow Jake through a fairly normal existence. The sky-diving chapter is especially exciting, although it doesn’t really seem to be connected to the rest of the book except as foreshadowing that Jake seems to be surrounded by guardian angels. Travis Ludvigson does a good job presenting Jake as a down-to-earth, believable human being.
As the novel progresses, Jake has a lengthy discussion over his Biblical beliefs with Darien, a priest and mentor to Jake who is more than he seems. Their dialogue encompasses many of the commonly discussed contradictions that eventually come up in religious conversations. The scene skews a little bit in favor of religion (perhaps a touch contrived), but it’s a necessary set up to the events of the novel.
The novel begins to pick up steam when a demon is released from its centuries long imprisonment in a tree in a nearby park. The demon emerges like a starved vampire and slowly gains strength as it embarks on a campaign of evil in the local community—much of which it’s able to blame on Jake.
I found this to be a light and exciting read, and it was interesting to learn a little bit about the Nephilim. I’m the type of person who tends to view all matters of religion with a somewhat suspicious eye, but I found this book only used the religious element as source material for a very human adventure. However, I think those people who are deeply religious might find this novel more impactful than it was for me.
Ludvigson does a good job creating an interesting and appealing character in Jake. There are a couple moments of excess verbiage, but for the most part this is a sharply written book that clips along at a steady pace. Ludvigson is definitely a writer to keep an eye on, and it will be interesting to see the work he produces as he develops further. For now, give “Yare’ Darkness Bound” a chance, and then come back here to add to the discussion.
Great first bok!, November 13, 2010
The book is set in Denmark during the Viking age, when the Danes undertook raids throughout Christian Europe. It is infused with Norse mythology and magic (something that I have neglected during my reading of fantasy fiction, history and mythology—and, I must say something in which the author has sparked my interest).
The book is filled with action from the very beginning. And the author is very good at bringing the reader into it with great detail and wonderful description.
The main character, Soren, develops through the story from a young man into an accomplished warrior, blessed with the strength of the legendary berserkers. His character is fun to read and root for as he grows throughout the book in power and in wisdom.
What I like most is the historical feel to this book. Despite the magic and mythology, or perhaps because of it, it undoubtedly has the feel of good historical fiction. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys character driven fiction, non-stop action, and wants to learn a little bit about the Danes.
Ludvigson’s historical fantasy revolves around a Danish warrior Soren Gormson, an unabashed warrior and “berserker” in the classic sense. When Soren, as a young man, finds himself washed ashore in enemy territory, he finds within himself the very spirit of the feared Danish warriors.
Even in the late 9th Century, life was not simple. Soren’s skill as a warrior earn him the favor of his adopted father and Jarl, Gorm, but the enmity of his adopted brother Knudt. In addition, Soren, who earns the literal favor of Odin, the All Father, finds himself enmeshed in a battle with the Christians, whose faith seems unshakable. These layers of storytelling, leading up to the historical events of the Second Siege of Paris were highly reminiscent of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories, in a very good way. Readers may find some of the earlier, unexplained events, puzzling. Even when the fantasy elements are introduced, these aren’t fully resolved, although they will make more sense in retrospect. That shouldn’t deter anyone from reading.
Ludvigson has the ability to create a pacing and flow in “Iron Song (The Nephilim Chronicles)” that will engage most readers. He brings to life Soren’s story and provides interesting twists and turns, weaving together historical and fantasy genres in a near seamless tapestry.