Large fantasy/romance novel by Nicola Dyson. I was kindly sent this big book from the publisher for a review. It’s an interesting mix of Norse fantasy with romance. Here is my review:
Set in modern times, 31 year old Kara who’s single, leads a normal every day life until one day she meets Frey. They are instantly attracted to one another. But this isn’t going to be an ordinary romance. Frey is descended from the warriors of Vanaheim and Kara is thrown into the world of Norse mythology where warriors, elves and magic exist.
This is an interesting attempt to merge a modern day romance novel with fantasy based on Norse mythology. Whether this works though depends on your own preferences to the genres. Although the book is classed as a fantasy I believe it is better called a romance first with the fantasy being an added extra.
Entwined in Midgard is a big novel, just under 500 pages long and large in size, so a substantial read. The story starts off quite slowly and you are introduced to a lot of characters early on. so many characters in fact that you can be forgiven for forgetting who half of them are at the start. However the most important characters stand out straight away and as the story unfolds you will remember who all the others are.
Unfortunately for fantasy fans, the novel really explores the relationship and romance part of the story first and you have to get through nearly 200 pages before any true fantasy actually starts. The romance is modern but at times I did feel it went on for too long and into too much detail. Countless encounters with other characters are shown, far more than necessary to understand how everyone feels about each other, and the romance between characters is also quite detailed, even going so far as to describe what they get up to in the bedroom.
This novel does pick up however. As soon as the fantasy starts it really feels like a different novel. There are so many things that Kara learns about and you really get plunged into the myths and legends of Norse mythology. There is fast paced action and real excitement and it was after getting to the fantasy part of this book that I really couldn’t put it down.
The romance and fantasy work well together from this point on, but I still felt the romance story sometimes stole time away from the fantasy and slowed the pace of this novel towards the end with, again, a bit too much detail of what the characters get up to with each other.
The book has quite frequent swearing with the f word used most often every several pages. There are also details of sexual behaviour so I would definitely recommend this to an adult audience only.
The back of the book has two lists, the first is a list of Swedish words or phrases with their English translations, this helps you understand what some characters are saying to each other but a few words and phrases are deliberately left out as it would spoil the story to know what they meant until they are revealed. The second list is code words that two characters (including the main character Kara) sometimes use. Their definitions are explained in the novel but if you forget you can refer to this list.
Despite my criticisms though I still give Entwined in Midgard a positive rating. The ending was nice and satisfying but left some things unresolved. This makes way for the potential of a sequel novel and the fact that ‘Book One’ is written on the cover suggests this will happen. However I just wasn’t as interested on the whole with this novel as I have been with some others, the modern day setting, with too much time spent on relationships and the romance, being part of the reason. If you are looking for a novel that merges modern day romance with Norse fantasy then I would definitely recommend this book. It is a good book but it could have been better.
Author’s website: http://www.nicoladyson.com/
Kara, 31 and single (very single), is in emotional meltdown when her dreams come true, meeting Frey (gorgeous and Swedish), instantly having a mutual attraction.
It is no chance encounter; Frey is an elite Warrior descended from Vanaheim and The Fates have brought them together for a reason.
Her world is turned upside down (all nine of them, apparently) as Kara is plunged into the magic and myths of Norse legends, which she is expected to belong to and believe in.
With traitors in every realm conspiring to prevent their joining, a dark elf attempting to entice Kara with his bad boy charms and a moody Norn assigned as her guardian enforcing rules, can life get any more complicated?
Absolutely! As NOTHING can prepare Kara for the truth of who she really is… the power she has… or the choices she can make…
Even Gods should be careful what they wish for.