The Second Blind Son (The Chronicles of Saylok) by Amy Harmon
Will captivate you completely…
The Second Blind Son, Amy Harmon’s second novel in The Chronicles of Saylok series, is a concurrent and culminating compliment to The First Girl Child. Based on Norse Mythology, The Chronicles of Saylok are an adaptation of the story of Hodr, the blind God, and Baldr his twin brother. Saylok is a world created, due to the brother’s misfortune, into the six animal clans: Adyar the eagle, Berne the bear, Dolphys the wolf, Ebba the boar, Joran the horse, Leok the lion, presided over by a king from each clan in succession, and overseen by the Keepers who balance the power of the kings and protect the runes. Hod, a blind student of the Keeper tasked with guarding the ocean cave runes, and Ghisla, a young, orphaned girl washed ashore from a distant land, are brought together during a time of curse upon the land, there have been no daughters born to the people of Saylok. As Fate sometimes orchestrates, exceptional circumstances produce an exceptional bond, trust, and friendship between the two that neither time nor distance can sever. A bond that is destined to grow and deepen as it leads them to play bigger roles in a curse and prophecy that was set in motion by the blood sacrifice of two mothers so long ago.
The Second Blind Son is an outstanding example of romantic historical fantasy! Amy’s melding of the ever popular medieval Vikings, lesser known Norse gods and their story, and a romance that touches the depth of your soul will occupy your mind for weeks after you have finished. Her storytelling is flawless and captivating, you quickly forget you are even reading as you are whisked away into a richly constructed world with a multitude of fascinating characters, layered plots, and fast moving action. But, at the core is the intimate and budding romance of Hod and Ghisla. Their relationship is palpable as it goes from two innocent and lonely teens seeking understanding and acceptance to an abiding friendship and trust that lays a foundation for an epic romance as they become adults.
Both tales of The Chronicles of Saylok can easily be read as standalones but are so much richer if read in order. I especially loved how The Second Blind Son is a concurrent story, told from a different perspective that not only fills in gaps but gives an added depth and fullness to the plot and characters in The First Girl Child. Additionally, I’m really looking forward to listening again to the wonderful narration of Rob Shappiro, whose mesmerizing voice transported me to the land of Saylok in The First Girl Child, (look for my review of this audiobook), as I get to re-experience The Second Blind Son in a whole new way. In either form, print or audio, this series is worth having and telling everyone you know to get their own copy. And… Amy tipped her reader’s off in a recent pre-release, live Facebook discussion that if the response to The Second Blind Son is good her publishers will let her write a third couple in the series, picking up where this story leaves off.