THE VIKING'S CHOSEN
by Quinn Loftis
Clean Teen Publishing
YA Historical / Fantasy
His orders are clear: launch a raid against England and bring home the spoils of war. But the prophecy is also clear: General Torben will take a foreign bride — one who is a seer and healer just like his mother. The eldest princess of England is said to be just that… a beautiful, charming, and headstrong woman. But he's a Viking army general and she's an English princess — and one who is already promised to the king of Tara.
Two worlds collide in this epic historical fiction centered on an undeniable chemistry that smolders against the odds. Richly written and injected with moments of humor, this action-packed romantic tale will leave you breathless.
Quinn Loftis is the author of twenty novels, including the USA Today Bestseller Fate and Fury.
Viking rawness and strength collides with all the pomp of the English courts in a mix of adventure, intrigue, fate and even a touch of magic.
Torben is respected and feared by his folk, but as a leading general he's more than aware of his King's growing madness, which has them soon on a risky mission to invade a part of England. To make matters more difficult, his mother, the town's Oracle, expects him to fulfill her vision and mate with an English woman. The idea of taking a foreign bride cuts his pride, but that is the least of the problems. Tara, the one he is seen to wed, is an English princess about to be married to a very powerful king, and the lives of those in her kingdom are hanging on the joining. And she's not about to let down her own people.
I was really looking forward to this book and was not disappointed. The author does a fantastic job at bringing both worlds to life. The vikings are as rugged as expected, and the English court is as regulated, proper and yet harsh in its own right. This does not have the flair of a light fairy tale, but sticks to a more historical atmosphere and doesn't fall into the trap of making life more grand than it was.
Still, this is an adventure with a touch of magic and lore. The oracle carries all of the mystery and harshness of a witch. She's got a warm heart buried in there somewhere, but is a result of her rough circumstances. The entire viking tribe is that way. . .even when the men break down to a little joking and humor. Which makes Torben a force not to oversee. He's rugged and crude, yet intelligent, ethical and wise. He's a true viking hero to root for.
Tara is not a spoiled princess but has matured and understands her position very well. She's tough but knows her place, and will live up to what is expected of her and her rank. Sometimes, she comes across a little weak and her decisions seem misguided at times. Still, without flaws, she wouldn't be easy to like. Plus, it fits the era well.
This was one of those books I didn't want to put down. The action rolls from page one all the way through. New problems constantly arrive, and the obstacles grow seemingly insurmountable and heart-wrenching to guarantee high tension to the last page. But the tension doesn't end there. Rather, this has an open end, which makes it hard to wait for book two to find out what happens next. And I do want to know that.
The romance is a wonderful push and shove with snarky wit built in. Both parties are not willing, although there is a spark of 'love at first site'. The oracle's predicted makes the direction of romantic tension clear, but there's enough intrigue and evil on the side to make it clear that vision or not, it's going to be a ruthless fight for both of them. Especially with a villain as evil as the one in this book.
In other words, its a fast-paced, exciting read for viking fans or those who love old England stories of royal intrigue. . . .and all with a touch of magical fantasy.