Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Peace reigns in Midgard and with no wars to fight, Yngvi, soldier and fancy-free charmer, craves danger, excitement and adventure. He finds all that and more in a mysterious stranger whose arrival in Midgard coincides with an unexpected attack on Asgard’s pantheon by the fiendish armies of Loki, renegade god of the Underworld.
Shara has pursued a killer to Midgard and can’t afford to be distracted by the charismatic Yngvi, not when the fugitive has eluded him twice already. But Yngvi is like no one Shara’s ever met—annoyingly tenacious, but also brave, loyal and inconveniently attractive. A single night together shouldn’t change anything. But it changes everything, and Shara finds himself giving Yngvi his body, his trust and much more.
Caught in the riptide of Shara’s shocking secrets, Yngvi joins him on a quest for vengeance that takes them across the stars, onto new worlds and into battles with gods, monsters and their own unfamiliar, conflicting feelings. Disloyalty breeds distrust, threatening to destroy their new, fragile bond, but they must each choose between heart and life when they finally uncover the startling past that will change the future.
I absolutely loved “Echoes of the Gods“. I have a thing for mythology and fairy tales and I especially love it when authors take on old myths and make them into something new. And Gaia Sol did a brilliant job here.
This is the first time I’ve heard anything about the Babylonian pantheon and I actually had to google some of the names before I realized that the author didn’t just make the whole thing up. I love it when a book teaches me something new and makes me want to learn more. “Echoes of the Gods” was definitely educating for me, but it never felt like the author was lording her knowledge over the ignorant reader.
Yngvi and Shara were immediately likeable. Shara is very innocent and at times a little naive, but it fit his backstory very well. He’s never had much contact to other people and spent most of his life living alone in the woods. But he’s a quick learner and he has other qualities to make up for his innocence. I loved the dynamic between Shara and Yngvi. And I really felt for both of them, suffering with them through their various hardships and heartaches.
The world building was great. The Babylonian, Norse and Greek pantheons were explored in-depth and we got to see a lot of action there. I’m fairly familiar with Norse and Greek gods and it was great to meet well-known characters but also to learn new details I knew nothing about. And the Babylonian pantheon was completely new to me. I don’t think you need to know anything about the old gods in order to enjoy and understand this book. But to me, the familiarity added another layer of enjoyment.
Aside from the pantheons, there were lots of little magical things going on and it was all brilliantly explained and executed. It really felt like I was there with Yngvi and Shara, meeting the old gods and traveling through space and time.
The romance was definitely there, but it wasn’t overbearing. The love story is wonderful and Yngvi’s and Shara’s feelings for each other were easy to relate to. There was a really great balance between fantasy and romance, another great example how one doesn’t exclude the other. Because you can definitely have both: amazing Fantasy with great world building and a wonderful Romance.
The only thing that bothered me tiny little bit was the lack of communication and the misunderstandings it caused. But since Yngvi is a Norse warrior and Shara has spent most of his life in solitude, I guess it’s understandable. It didn’t distract from the overall brilliance of the book.
Overall, I simply loved this book. This is the author’s first book and I’ll definitely keep an eye out for future books by her.
If you have a thing for great fantasy with brilliant world building and a wonderful romance on top of it all, this is definitely the book for you.
The cover is absolutely gorgeous. It’s such an eye-catcher and really fits the storyline. At first glance, it does look like a cover for a space opera, though.
Sales Link: Amazon
ebook. 316 pages
Published October 25th 2017