Claradon never led his House’s forces into battle before. But now he has to. His father, the mighty lord of Dor Eotrus, went missing, along with all his men, heroes all, while investigating a mysterious fog and otherworldly howling. It’s up to Claradon to find him, to bring him home, or to avenge his death if he has fallen. Claradon is a brave young knight — noble, skilled, and courageous; a warrior born and bred; a northman, tall and strong. But he’s not prepared to face the ancient evil that has entered his lands. An evil with powers beyond any mortal’s imagination. An evil that threatens to overrun Midgaard and destroy all that Claradon holds dear.
Almost anyone who knows me knows I’m a mythology buff. So with a title like Gateway to Niflheim, Thater had my attention. The story is a fairly short novel that tells the tell of semi-Norse kingdom being invaded by demons. Its got a large cast for such a short work, but the focus is largely on the prince of the kingdom, a secondary wizard, and a powerful foreign knight named Theta.
What I liked:
At its best, the writing depicts a glorious, gruesome picture of the mists and horror of the demon world. It brings in many mythologies, but most especially Norse, hinting at greater depths that kept me wanting to know more. I liked the world building a lot, and the writing moved quick, pulling me along.
What I didn’t like:
While the writing was often good, sometimes it felt slightly sloppy. A few technical errors, changes in voice, or poorly timed POV switches occassionally disrupted my reading rythym. I think tighter writing and a single close POV could have changed the novel from good to great.
Who I recommend it for:
Fans of mythology and those looking for a gritty dark fantasy.