Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Synopsis: This novel started out life as Wing of the Swan, a short story in the anthology Sexy Beast VI and this acts as the second part of it. Odette is the Swanmaiden's daughter and was left orphaned from being a young girl when her land was destroyed by cruel enemies. Vanda was supposed to be the one to look after her, but she was as cruel as the men who had laid siege to the land around her, as Vanda grew to envy and hate her. Vanda's husband takes her away to another land, Athla where she has a much better life out of Vanda's way. She can't believe that she is living the life many only dream of, but Vanda has other ideas when she knows where she has been taken and wants Cu'Lugh to take Odette from this sacred place as she wants to use her in a sacrifice to Loki. Cu'Lugh does this knowing nothing of what she wants with Odette, so both are kept in the dark as to her sister’s true motives for wanting her back.
Review: Unlike many erotic novels written by women, that I've read, this one starts out with sex right from the offset, which is not a bad thing at all when it shows Rulf and Inga engaging in a bit of healthy bondage in the privacy of their own hut. Regardless of the intense sexual content of this novel, it reads more like a historical piece in many ways; it is interesting, full of historical information about the Saxons and Viking type pagans. Odette finds she is at odds with her being brought up a Christian, and wants to train to become a Priestess of Freyja, but Vanda has other ideas for what she has in store for her.
Final Thoughts: It is worth the read just to find out what kind of pain and heartache Odette goes through in this novel. Odette is the perfect submissive, and that aspect of this novel can tire sometimes, but I think it is part of the story that she should be like that, and in itself in modern literature is unusual. She starts out as a sacrifice, then has to go on her own quest to discover who she really is.
Worth The Hype? If you want a historical style novel with lots of sexy bits in it, this is the book for you.