Cursed to live an immortal existence, eagle by day, man by night, Ivar finds himself once again in the Kings gratitude. Usually he asks for gold, but this time, land stole past his lips. Tired and lonely, Ivar wants some normality back into his life. Not only does the King grant him his request for land, but offers a wife as well.
Ivar knew he'd be pleased with his wife, a woman is a woman, just the thought of having a wife all his own, for the short time he'd be able to have her was enough for Ivar. And Alaida pleases him more than he could have hoped for.
Ivar searches out his friends, Brand and Ari, also cursed immortal were-creatures. Brand has been continuously searching for the witch Cwen who placed this curse upon them centuries ago. He feels responsible for the long ago placed curse and reluctantly puts aside his search to travel with Ivar to his new lands and future wife.
But Ari, who also has visions, warns Ivar that he must stay away from his new bride, for their children will be just as cursed as he is. Ivar tries to deny it. He wants and needs Alaida too badly, but in the end he gives in, avoiding intimacies with Alaida.
I was not going to buy this book, but Anna bought it for me and I am really glad she did. I loved Immortal Warrior. I do believe that I have read my first book for the year that will make my top list. I was feeling some strong emotions while reading. Ivar's desperation to keep and hold onto Alaida, regardless of his curse and the vision, was so sad and it was done in a way that you knew he didn't have much of a choice but to stay away from her, rather than risk her bearing a child. But things don't always work out as planned :).
I love stories that involve curses and this one was extremely fascinating. I was intrigued from the prologue til the last page. I can't believe I had decided not to buy this book. So glad Anna went against my judgment and bought it for me anyway!
Loved this book!
In the early years of the raids upon Britain, it came about that Håkon IronToe, a high chieftain of the Norse, heard tales told among his Saxon thralls that the men of Odinsbrigga, in the Kingdom of Anglia, guarded a great treasure. Determined to have it, he sent his fiercest warriors, led by Brand Einarsson, called Thor’s Hammer, to take the village and bring the gold to him. But the treasure was protected not only by the swords of men, but by the sorcery of the witch, Cwen, who conjured warriors from her own blood and sent her son to lead them.
When Brand saw his men being slaughtered, a great rage came over him, and he gained the strength of ten berserkers. He set upon the ghosts, slashing and hewing until his blade found solid flesh, and he did kill the son of Cwen.
In the fury of her grief, Cwen used her magic to bind Brand and those of his men whose hearts still beat, and she had them carried before the treasure they had come to take, and she cursed them. She turned them into shadow beasts, living half as animal, half as man, each taking the form of his fylgja, the spirit companion whose image he wore on a chain. When she had done, Cwen took their amulets and scattered them across the face of the earth, and she drove the men off into the forest to be hunted.
When word of Brand’s fate reached Håkon, he trembled in fear and ordered his boats to sail, but a great wave arose and his ship vanished from the face of the sea. He never knew of the greater curse that befell his men, for Cwen also made the warriors immortal, so that their torment should go on and on. Forever.
After a time, the men of Odinsbrigga lost interest in their sport, and Brand searched out his men to gather them together. But those who were beasts set upon those who were men, and were set upon in turn when the sun fell or rose, and the vileness of the magic protected them from death but not from pain. When it grew clear they could not live together thus, each warrior set off to make his own way. Before they scattered, Brand swore a vow to every man that he would hunt Cwen until he found her, and that he would make her pay for what she had done.
The years passed into centuries, and still Brand hunted. One by one, his warriors learned to live among men once more. The first of these was Ivar, son of Thorli, called Greycloak, who spent his days in the form of an eagle . . . .
June 2, 2008
For centuries he’s hidden in the woods. Now a maid has come to lead him out…
It’s been four centuries since Steinarr the Proud was cursed by a wicked sorceress-along with the rest of his Viking crew-to live for eternity as half man, half beast. By day Steinarr is like any other man-by night he is a lion. He has taken refuge in the woods of Nottingham, England, and there he encounters two young travelers, Robin and Marian.
Painfully aware of the danger he presents when the moon rises, Steinarr refuses to help guide them on their search for a special amulet. But a kiss from Marian awakens his desire. How can he protect the maid he so desperately wants to ravish? With motives of his own, Steinarr finally joins their quest, while the sorceress Cwen gathers her dark magic to destroy them.
As a legend spreads of an outlaw in the woods, their band is joined by others. But it is Steinarr who has the most to gain and the most to lose-if he is ever to be free of the curse and free to love as a man…