The Legend of the Ice People #5: Mortal Sin

***Warning – this post contains spoilers***
to read the review of book #1, click here.

 

Mortal Sin, by Margit Sandemo

Mortal Sin, by Margit Sandemo

  
In Mortal Sin, Silje’s granddaughter, Cecilie, jeopardises her role as governess at the court of King Christian IV when she becomes pregnant – by a priest! But to save herself and her new husband, she marries one of the king’s closest advisers Marquis Alexander Paladin, who faces disgrace because of his homosexual activity and they declare her child their own. Against the background of the Thirty Years War the drama of their tortured marriage forms the core of this book.

The 5th book in The Legend of the Ice People may well become the most “controversial” one in the series. The homosexual Marquis Alexander Paladin faces punishment, possibly death, for his “sins”. Meanwhile his friend Cecilie Meiden, who we met in Yearning, returns to Denmark after getting pregnant with a priest in a moment of desperation and lust.

The relationship between the two is very interesting, some of the scenes they share feels like instant classics. Like the one in Yearning when they first met. There was something about it that just struck me, even though it was just a brief encounter.
Thankfully we see more of the same quality writing in Mortal Sin. The chemistry Margit Sandemo produces between the two is very intriguing, and you almost feel honored to be “allowed” to watch their friendship grow. Romance-wise, this is the best book yet. Yes the story of Silje and Tengels love in the first books was great, but this is better in my opinion.
I’m not sure how the politically correct will react to this book, as it show quite clearly what position homosexuality had in Europe at the time. I’d love to go into more detail, but you should really buy the book and find out for yourself. I can’t tell it half as good as Sandemo can.

The Thirty year war rages on in Europe, and Danish recruiters are running wild in Norway, taking 2 of the young Ice People members with them down to the battlefields. The glowing eyes become more prominent as one of them discovers who he really is, that his generation has in fact not escaped the evil family curse at all…

Kolgrim, who was one of the main characters in Yearning, takes a back-seat ride in Mortal Sin. Although he appears several times, and is referred to even more, the story isn’t about him. But I suspect the little we do get to know about his development will serve as a great build-up for the next book, where he seems to have a much bigger role to play. There’s no doubt he IS one of the evil cursed ones of the family, and – unlike his grandmother Sol – he doesn’t want to change that.

The storytelling is gripping, the suspense – even when nothing is happening – drives you on and forces you to read just one more page. Thanks to Sandemos intriguing characters and story-lines, this is a must-read.
If you’ve read the first 4 of course, which you should. Now.

Score:
8/10

Thanks,
– Abscondo
waiting impatiently for #6

What the future holds

Aloha my readers (hey, let me at least pretend I have some).

It’s been a while since the latest post, mostly because I have an uninteresting life, but also because I’ve been waiting for the latest book in The Legend of the Ice People to arrive in my mailbox. Thanks a lot to amazon.co.uk for being 2 weeks late. So much for pre-ordering, eh?

Anyway, I wanted to make a little post about what I’ll write about here soon.
First off, you’ll soon find a review of Mortal Sin, book #5 in The Ice People. I just have to finish reading it. So far though, it looks like it could be one of the best books so far. Very interesting characters and events, not to mention a very “hot” and controversial topic! So stay tuned for that.

Another thing to come soon may be a review of Stephen Kings The Gunslinger, first book in his epic tale of The Dark Tower (Watch out for spoilers in those links). It’s been maybe a year since I read The Gunslinger, so I’m refreshing my memory by listening to it on audio book.

If you’re a first time reader I do have to say that I use the word “review” lightly. I’m i no way a professional at this, so don’t expect anything other than a fan review. Not a die-hard-fan-for-decades review either.

That seems to be it for now, so long – stay tuned – and thanks for all the fish.

- abscondo

The Legend of the Ice People: #4 Yearning

***Warning – this post contains spoilers***
to read the review of book #1, click here.

 

04yearning

In Yearning, the historic evil curse so feared by the dwindling descendants of the Ice People comes to fruition. A terrifying child, Kolgrim, is born to Sunniva, daughter of the unrepentant witch, Sol Angelica, whom Silje rescued from the plague in the first novel Spellbound.

As Kolgrim grows up, the lives of Silje and Tengel are drawing to a close and the focus moves to their children and grandchildren…

 

In Yearning, the focus shifts heavily to the new generation of the Ice People families. The books main character is in fact not of the Ice People at all, but from a small farm in the Gråstensholm parish. We meet Yrja, who is a disfigured little girl, bound to spend her life alone or working for her very large family. Or so we are led to believe.

Other main characters include Sunniva and Tarald, Cecilie, Tarjei and one Alexander Paladin, a nobleman from Denmark who Cecilie meets when she moves down there to take care of the Kings (bastard) children.

The most exiting new character however is Kolgrim, the first (or is he?) afflicted child of the Ice People since Sol. Kolgrim however seem to lack her love for his kin, and his dark side is a lot more dominant than it was with Sol. Exciting times in other words.

The main storyline, as in The Depths of Darkness there are more than one, is that about Yrja and her love of one of the male Ice People members, who only have eyes for someone else.
Nothing revolutionary there in other words, but the novel is remarkably relevant in other ways. Ways I will not reveal here, you’d have to buy it for yourself.

Yearning ends in a very interesting way, now more than ever I can’t wait for the next book to come. Dark clouds are looming over the horizon, and the Ice People are being dragged into the awaiting darkness.

As usual I can’t recommend this if you haven’t read the first few books, but if you have, keep reading!

Score:
7/10

Thanks,

-abscondo

 

 

One more thing, if this book doesn’t make you shed a little tear – you’re a rock.

The Legend of the Ice People: #3 Depths of Darkness

***Warning – this post contains spoilers***
to read the review of book #1, click here.

 

03depthsofdarkness

In The Depths of Darkness, Sol Angelica, the beautiful and restless niece of Tengel, becomes the focus of the story…At twenty years of age she is able to give full and free rein to her long-held wish to seek out ancient witches covens in the lowlands and to worship the Powers of Darkness unrestrainedly. At last she feels ready to fulfil all her secret and depraved dreams of power and carnal passion.

Yet like her uncle Tengel, all her impulses are not evil – it is not only the dark powers that guide her. And she finds she is ready to give her life to protect those nearest and dearest to her…

In this third book, the focus shifts mainly unto Sol, the now 20 year old niece of Tengel. She has been behaving relatively well over the last years, keeping her promise to her foster parents to don’t use her powers for harm. As a reward she is given her bag of herbs, mixtures, potions and other (worse) witch-craft remedies.

Sol breaks away from home to “have her own experiences”. She goes to visit Dag, who is now studying in Denmark. Her main goal however is a fabled witches coven, which she remembers the heinous witch Hanna talking about in the first book, in Sweden. While in Denmark it doesn’t take long for her to get in trouble due to her powers and the general paranoia of the witch-hunters of the time-period.

Despite what you may think when reading the text on the back of the book, there’s a lot going on in Depths of Darkness. At least 3 or 4 individual stories take place, most of them being about Sol and her new adventures.

This is in my opinion the best book so far. We get to know a lot more about Sol, what drives her and the conflict within.

It’s difficult to recommend book number 3 in a series of 47, in order to fully enjoy it you should read the first two beforehand, of course. If you have read the first two, get this one as well, there should be no doubt in your mind. Times are slowly changing, new characters steps forward and older ones begin to step back.

You may laugh, you may feel empathy, you may dispair, you may rejoyce.
You may cry.

It’s all part of the Ice People experience.

Score:
8/10

Thanks for reading.
-abscondo

Well… that was strange.

Let me begin with saying that I do NOT believe anything will happen tomorrow, the infamous 10.14.08, I’ve voiced my opinion against it since first hearing about the predicted event.

That said, I had a very weird dream last night (around 7 o’clock in the morning the 13th of october), so strange in fact that I had to write down what I remembered when I woke up.
I will share the notes here right now. Just remember they may not make sense because it was a dream, I was weirded out when I wrote it and I wrote it in my own language – so it’s translated to English. I also made some “drawings” that I’ll try to re-make in photoshop and post here in this post later.

Here it is:

13.10.08 (early morning)

Strange “miniature dreams”, almost before I fell asleep. – Frame/mask?

[first drawing will go here when it's made]

“Wake up” by someone standing outside. A man can be seen through the window, He holds a open plastic box with something inside. He rings the doorbell of my neighbour (appartment next door). I go back to bed, but get up again right away.
A man (same guy?) stands in my living room with his back turned to me. I say “hello?”. He turns slowly towards me (confused?), he’s got something in his hand (gun?) and talks in a walkie. I’m standing right in front of him yet can’t hear/understand what he’s saying in the walkie…

He sees me (confused?) and says “I didn’t think…”. He then asks if I have a chair. “Only the big one” I say. Does he laugh?
He lifts the chair, something happens, don’t remember what, a lot of light.
I put a “double pillow” (like on garden chairs, with a “seat” and support for the back) over my head. the light gets stronger, engulfs everything.
All of a sudden I sit infront of the PC. I hear voices (gender?) saying something about “channeling” and “10.14.08”.
I get scared in the dream (?). Sit online and read something. See pictures, one showing “atmospheric changes”. Another with the title “rebuilding earth” (not technologicaly).

[picture showing the "atmospheric changes" will go here]

Know I had 2 “visions”, but can only remember the one I’ve written down here!

I suddently wake up. it takes time to realize that I was dreaming because I woke from a dream in the dream itself.

I’m confused when I get the pen and paper. I was dead tired when I went to sleep, but never really fell asleep (interrutpted by the “miniature dreams” mentioned in he beginning). Wide awake now…

about the “mask”  [image to come later], I’ve forgotten almost everything about it except that some person (lady?) in some place (office?) laughs when I ask if it’s supposed to be “empty” and be used as art alone.
Must have been some kind of mask or a sort of picture frame.

Well there it is.
Yes I know it’s weird and hardly makes any sense at all. Just remember as I said that this is notes from a dream I just woke up from. And it’s translated. It makes little sense for me, but I’m sure it makes even less for you.

Again, I do not believe in “10.14.08”, I do not believe this dream meant anything. The only reason I write it down here is if something happens tomorrow, I want this here as “proof” that I’m not making it up if I later claim to have had a dream about it.

Did that make sense?

Thanks for reading.

- abscondo

Amy MacDonald – perfection?

amy macdonald

amy macdonald

 

Recently I’ve been listening a lot to the young Scottish singer/songwriter Amy MacDonalds debut album “This is the life”.

I’m usually not the kind of person to throw around praise and call things “perfect”. But I’m really struggling to NOT do that when it comes to this beauty and her fantastic voice and music.

What makes it so great? I’m not really sure, maybe the fact that I can’t help feeling great while listening to it? Maybe the fact that I have to remind myself that “I’m out in public, so don’t sing out loud!”? Maybe the fact that there’s not a single bad track or even a bad moment in the entire album?

This is the Life is great from start to finish. Of course some tracks are better than others, but none are bad. Not even average, they go from great to brilliant.
A few of the songs have got extensive air time on the radio around these parts. Songs like Poison Prince and This is the Life should be familiar to anyone who listens to radio. But for me, the real gem in this album is the utterly amazing song “A wish for something more”. Whenever I listen to it, I feel like bursting out in pure joy and just… explode. Not many songs gives me goosebumps and brings tears to my eyes, but this is the one. If it was possible to be in love with a song, I’d marry “A wish for something more”.

Amy MacDonald herself seems to be a very sympathetic and down-to-earth person. She’s often compared to Amy Winehouse because of the first name, but the similarity stops right there, thank god. Heck, Amy MacDonalds accent alone is enough to turn my knees to boiled spaghetti.

If I didn’t know better, I’d wonder if I had a little crush on this lovely human beeing ;)

Amy MacDonald:
6/6

This is the Life:
6/6

Perfect :)

The Legend of the Ice People: #2 Witch-hunt

***Warning – this post contains spoilers***
to read the review of book #1, click here.

 

In “Witch-Hunt”, Silje Arngrimsdotter, the seventeen-year-old heroine of the opening novel Spellbound, struggles to come to terms with the harshness of life in a high mountain valley among the witches and warlocks of the mysterious Ice People.

Having fled there for her life with her adored ‘wolf man’ and two foundling infants from the Trondheim plague, Silje has bravely borne their first child. But this life of austere poverty is shattered when bloodthirsty, witch-hunting troops invade the remote valley.

Warned in time, Silje, her ‘wolf man’ and their charges flee from the carnage to the lowlands again to begin a new life. But unknowingly are they also carrying with them into the future the accursed heritage of the Ice People

In the second book of the series, the story continues from a few years after it left of in the end of Spellbound.
Everything that was good in the first book is still there in Witch-Hunt. On top of that we get more characters, new locations and new “antagonists”.
We get to know more about Sol, one of the most captivating characters I’ve had the pleasure of “meeting” during all my years of reading books. The duality in her, struggling with the family curse she has to live with while at the same time caring immensely for her loved ones, makes her perhaps the personality with most depth in the series from what I’ve read (the first 3 books). Some of Margit Sandemos characters may be a little flat, particularly the less important ones, but Sol has “it all”.

Witch-Hunt isn’t all about her though. We follow the little (growing) family as they flee from the valley of the Ice People watching the entire population get killed by the bailiffs men as they head for the mountains. It’s a gripping scene of courage, desperation and companionship.
Homeless and with nothing but death looming in their future, Silje tries the only solution she can see.
Of course I won’t reveal what it is, and if it helps.

Score:
4.5/6

 

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment and a link to your own blog!
– abscondo

 

The Legend of the Ice People: #1 Spellbound

Winter 1581: a deadly plague outbreak robs sixteen-year old peasant girl Silje of all her family. Homeless, starving and shepherding two foundling infants, she stumbles through the corpse-strewn streets of Trondheim on Norway’s northern coast.
 
Heading desperately for the warmth of the mass funeral pyres blazing beyond the city gates, she encounters in the shadowy forest  one of the infamous Ice People, a fearsome, strangely captivating ‘wolf man’.  He offers help — and she feels irresistibly drawn to him. But what is the terrible fascination ? And where will it lead?
 
Spellbound, the opening volume in The Legend of the Ice People, begins a journey that spans four centuries and interweaves romance and the supernatural in narratives that are passionate, earthy, often erotic and imbued above all else with a powerful narrative drive.

The first book of the 47 book long Epic-potential series The Legend of The Ice People opens with a chilling scene in Trondheim, Norway during a outbreak of the plague in 1581.
From the very first pages you get “sucked in” to this old[e] world and the characters that inhibit it. Strictly speaking, the language may not be great and “elitist” litterarians (I don’t know if that’s a word at all – according to the spellcheck it isn’t but I’m using it anyways) may not like it simply because it’s so darn… easy to read. The pages fly by and you can’t help feeling for the characters and cheering for them to get through their perils.

Margit Sandemo, the author, has a very direct way to express herself. There’s sex, death, bad guys vs good guys, love and hate raw to the bone. Not much “beating around the bush” in other words.
At the same time I can’t help but feel this book (and the rest) can be great for young adults and teenagers as well. Yes there is sex, and yes there is violence, but the underlying morale and ethics is very uplifting and refreshing. I can almost bet that anyone who grows up reading these books will become a fine representative of the human species. That may sound pompous, but that’s the feeling I’m left with after finishing the book. And the urge to order book number 2 as soon as possible of course.

Score:
5/6

Check out tagman press or amazon to order your own copy. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Thanks again for reading. This is my very first attempt at a “review”, so forgive the lack of… skills.

- abscondo, currently in love with the Ice People.

The Legend of the Ice People

Many years after the initial release, this highly popular Swedish/Norwegian book series is now being published in English.

The story is about a cursed family line in Scandinavia, starting in Norway in the 16th century during a plague in the city of Trondheim.
Recurring topics is said to be romance, magic, history, love, superstition, myth, folklore and so on. May not sound to out of the ordinary, but after reading the first 4 books I can’t wait for more. This is not like anything else I’ve read, and that’s a good thing in this case.

I will attempt to give a “review” of each and every book as I read them. So stay tuned if you’re interested.
in the meanwhile, please check out the authors website for more info (first chapters of each book available for free) and the publishers site to order your own copy.

Thanks,

- abscondo

A little bit of this…

Greetings.

I have no idea what to write!

The negative thing about being completely anonymous in a blog is that you can’t tell people about it. and if people don’t find out about the blog, noone will read it.
As I said in the first post, I don’t go around reading random blogs. Some people probably do, but none of them have checked out this one yet, that’s for sure.
Ok it sounds like I’m complaining, but I’m not really. I would just like some comments or questions or whatever. It would sure make it easier to make new posts.

Ah well, the world won’t end because noone reads this (or will it?).
Speaking of the end of the world, I can’t wait for 10.14.08.
For those that know what I’m talking about:
my money is on “No-show” and “fraud”.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see!

Hey, maybe that’s the answer to getting a popular blog, eh?
Make wild claims about aliens and native america spirits, slap on some LOVE ™ and call your local Jesus. We’re in for a wild one!
Or, you know… not?

Thanks for reading this very fragmented post.

- abscondo

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