The First Girl Child (The Chronicles of Saylok) by Amy Harmon
The First Girl Child Book Cover The First Girl Child
The Chronicles of Saylok
Amy Harmon
New Adult, Historical Fiction, Norse Mythology, Romance
August 20, 2019
Kindle, Paperback, Audiobook, MP3 CD

Bayr of Saylok, bastard son of a powerful and jealous chieftain, is haunted by the curse once leveled by his dying mother. Bartered, abandoned, and rarely loved, she plagued the land with her words: From this day forward, there will be no daughters in Saylok.

Raised among the Keepers at Temple Hill, Bayr is gifted with inhuman strength. But he’s also blessed with an all-too-human heart that beats with one purpose: to protect Alba, the first girl child born in nearly two decades and the salvation for a country at risk.

Now the fate of Saylok lies with Alba and Bayr, whose bond grows deeper with every whisper of coming chaos. Charged with battling the enemies of their people, both within and without, Bayr is fueled further by the love of a girl who has defied the scourge of Saylok.

What Bayr and Alba don’t know is that they each threaten the king, a greedy man who built his throne on lies, murder, and betrayal. There is only one way to defend their land from the corruption that has overtaken it. By breaking the curse, they could defeat the king…but they could also destroy themselves.

The First Girl Child is Amy Harmon’s introduction to The Chronicles of Saylok, a fantasy series based on Norse mythology and illustrating how love can empower people to overcome seemingly insurmountable difficulties. Bayr of Saylok is not dedicated by any one of the six clans of Saylock but raised in temple by his uncle, a keeper of Saylok who swore an oath to his dying sister after she gave birth to Bayr. As she was leaving this life she blood cursed the men of Saylok from fathering female children because of their lack of love for women while giving Bayr the gift of strength and the role of curse breaker. When Banruud, cheiftan of Berne, sees an opportunity to advance his own political career by switching his stillborn son with the Alba, the newborn daughter of a captured slave, Bayr and Alba’s lives become forever connected and the key to freeing Saylok from the curse.

Amy Harmon has created an entrancing new series in The Chronicles of Saylok. Saylok is an island created by Odin himself and immersed in the magic and traditions of the Norse gods. I was fascinated by Amy’s weaving of real world historical people, mythology, and fantasy into a unique and interesting world and loved the wordsmithing she used to paint a captivating and engrossing story centered around Bayr and Alba. Bayr is imbued with super human abilities but humbled by a speech impediment, which makes him a very appealing main character. Alba is wise beyond her years and is not prideful of her position as princess, but cognizant of the corruptness around her. Together, theirs is a relationship established on a childhood devotion and love for each other that grows into an adult passion and commitment. It is this connection that helps them to fight against and expose a king who will do anything to maintain his power.

I have to confess The First Girl Child was only my second audio book, but what an experience it was given that it was recited by the well-known and prolific narrator, Rob Shapiro. I thought I would not like a book with a male and female lead narrated by only one person, however Rob’s velvety voice and skill at varying his voice to match the different characters was so authentic that I became lost in the story, forgetting that he was telling me this tale. I’m now looking for Audibles specifically with him as narrator and then selecting based on the story. I’m also excited that Amy has him narrating the next book in the series, The Second Blind Son, which released July 20, 2021.