Hammers in the Wind, by Christian Warren Freed
The Northern Crusade, Book One
Originally Reviewed Here. Posted 2015/08/24 on Amazon.com
Vivid characters, strong story, poor editing.
Hammers in the Wind is a powerful, raw tale of an antihero, the younger brother of a king, who finds his heroism. Bahr is a grim, older man who has long been an adventurer and pirate. When seeming assassins kill his nephew, the son of his brother, King Badron, and capture his niece, he decides he must help.
The truth is far different. I will avoid spoilers, but events are not as either the protagonist nor the main villains think. The cast of characters are vivid and well-drawn, and the military background of the author shows through in the all-too-real, harsh presentation of the war that follows.
That said, I have complaints. Badron, the king, and as it proves, one of the antagonists, is ultimately disappointing. As someone who has forged a powerful, militaristic kingdom from what is implied to have been a disorganized mess, he ought to be more personally impressive, but he is not. And more directly, this book could use better, far better, editing. I loved, really loved, some of the characters, but it was not enough.
I’d like to give this book a higher rating, but faced with plot holes and numerous basic grammatical problems, I can’t. The unfinished, unedited writing detracted from my willingness to follow what could have been a great tale, in the grim Norse tradition of tragic sagas.
The writer is a diamond in the rough. If you like this tale, and want to read further, by all means do so. I’ve yet to decide whether I will.