Horn of the Kraken

Pearl, Stephen B

Published by Pendelhaven 2015-07-17, 2015
ISBN 10: 0994024053 / ISBN 13: 9780994024053
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Synopsis: The sun and moon have been devoured by the cosmic wolves Skoll and Hati. Fimbulwinter has envelopped the world in the cold and darkness. Men prey on each other in order to survive. Amid the chaos, in the struggle for the throne, comes a war between brothers. Hakon, illegitimate heir to the throne of Norveig, has obtained a horn that can summon a terror from the depths of the ocean. This monstrosity has been sinking the vessels of his half-brother, Jarl Erik Bloodaxe. Erik sends a company of untried heroes to infiltrate Hakon's stronghold, and steal the horn. As with all things political there are other agendas. Fjorn, the leader of the team, is Erik's half-brother who could challenge Erik for the throne. Erik's wife Gunnhild is a powerful sorceress with her own ambitions- could her goals derail the heroes? In life, sometimes a Jarl wins, and other times a Jarl wins. HORN OF THE KRAKEN tells a vivid, stirring adventure tale that gives the reader a wild ride, but it also features that most enjoyable of reading experiences: characters who leap off the page and seem real, with all of their humor and anger and cutting comments. Great fun! Recommended!- Ed Greenwood, New York Times-bestselling creator of The Forgotten RealmsŪ

From the Back Cover:  
 
Below there are spoilers for Horn of the Kraken.
 
                The book begins with the introductions of Fjorn, a skald and the son of a Karl, whose lands are under attack by Hakon's forces.
 
                Next, we meet, Sigurlina a young Seithkona struggling to control her spirit powers, who was driven out of her village by a crusader ambush where both her parents were slaughtered.
 
                Then we are introduced to Audun Bear Friend, a Galdr, rune mystic, and navigator whose ship is attacked by crusaders using a horn that can summon kraken. Audun's crew are slaughtered by the crusaders, who torture him. He escapes and kills his captors but is marooned on an iceberg.
 
                We encounter Ragna, a Maiden of Ratatosk, mischief maker, who is involved in shady dealings. Ragna had been a Karl's daughter until the crusaders made her a thrall because her father practiced religious tolerance.
 
                Finally, we are introduced to Vidurr, an Ulfhednar, shamanic man wolf, whose village was burnt by crusaders who crippled Vidurr's father and left him to suffer the straw death.
 
                The Norn appears to each of these characters offering them life and a means to strike back against Hakon and his crusader allies.
 
                Fjorn meets Jarl Erik Bloodaxe and Queen Gunnhild, who send him on a mission to misdirect Hakon's forces. Ships have been sinking with alarming frequency, and they suspect it is Hakon's doing. Gunnhild also charges Fjorn to bring her items from Finnmark.
 
                It is revealed that Fjorn is the illegitimate son of Jarl Harald, making him Erik's half-brother. Given the history of deaths among Erik's half-brothers, this puts Fjorn's life in jeopardy.


               Fjorn rescues Audun from the iceberg. No one believes Audun when he claims that Hakon can control Kraken.
 
                Sigurlina journeys to the town of Ekena where she befriends Ragna and Munin, the shade of a girl. Having to find shelter out of town, due to Ragna's legal entanglements, the three females journey to Munin's farm picking up a freezing raven on the way. At the farm Sigurlina binds Munin with the raven to prevent the girl's spirit becoming a Haugbui.
 
                Fjorn and his crew are attacked by kraken after hearing a horn. Audun's forewarning and knowledge of the coast get them to a safe harbor. Once in the shallows, they are aided by Vidurr, who grants them grudging hospitality and joins them because they have a common foe.
 
                Sigurlina, Ragna and Munin, now a raven, return to the docks in hopes of finding passage to the capital, Avaldsnes. They meet Fjorn and his crew and help them obtain the items on the Queen's list in exchange for passage.
 
                One item on the list is a Niflheim ore dagger held under strong enchantments in a cave guarded by dreyri, giant vampire bats.
 
                The group retrieves the dagger but must flee because the dagger acts as a beacon for draugar, undead soldiers of the Goddess Hel, who will stop at nothing to recover it.
 
                The team race for Avaldsnes, the capital, but are overtaken by draugar. After repelling two attacks they must weather a storm. After the storm, they face the dangers of cold and wet.
 
                As they approach Avaldsnes they are again attacked by draugar. Sigurlina sends Munin ahead with a message asking for help. Two Selkei, seal people, arrive and help drag the draugar into the sea.
 
                Fjorn and his companions deliver the dagger to the Queen and their news about the Horn of the Kraken to Jarl Erik.
 
                Queen Gunnhild invites Sigurlina to see a magical working. It is a mini Yggdrasil, which will channel energies into the land creating a warm, living zone. To do this she has collected nine of her husband's half-brother's skulls to represent the nine realms. Now she needs an artifact from each of the nine realms to call the energy she requires.
 
                To quote Queen Gunnhild. "Do you understand? Can you understand? The Gods care not! We are pieces on a gaming board to them, nothing more. Once I am done though; then let Surt's fires rage, let the worlds collapse. My land will yet stand, and when the new world forms; we will be first. I will rule all, and my power will stretch over the nine worlds. So, at the least; I will rule as queen of a living realm in a world trapped in a season of death. At most; I will be a goddess more powerful than Odin himself, reining over a new and vibrant Midgard."
 
                Gunnhild orders Sigurlina to bring anything that could serve as links for the remaining seven realms she comes across to the capital.
 
                At the capital the heroes learn that while Jarl Erik has forbidden direct action against Fjorn, to remove him as a possible contender for the throne, he has, to appease his Queen, agreed to send Fjorn on high-risk missions until he is no longer a threat.
 
                Spies report that a storm has damaged several of Hakon's ships and that they are returning to Winchester for repairs. Erik surmises that one of the damaged ships must be carrying the Horn of the Kraken. Fjorn is ordered to obtain or destroy the horn.
 
                Fjorn and company infiltrate the court of King Aethelstan, Hakon's patron, in Winchester. Fjorn pretends interest in learning about the White God as the others pose as his household. Once in the court, they will liberate the horn and escape before the enemy forces become aware of them.
 
                Plans go awry. They sound the Horn of the Kraken as they are escaping. Kraken swarm the Winchester docks and The Horn of the Kraken is lost in the sea.
 
                Fjorn and his companions return to the Orkney Islands to await another mission.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Horn of the Kraken
Publisher: Pendelhaven 2015-07-17
Publication Date: 2015
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: New

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