Saturday 15 June 2019

#BookReview — Tales of Freya: Sensual Short Stories by Sarah Dahl #Vikings @sarahdahl13

Tales of Freya
Sensual Short Stories
By Sarah Dahl

In this collection of adult bedtime stories, Sarah Dahl pulls back the curtain of history to depict the erotic lives of Viking men and women. Amid the stark landscapes of fjords, forests and snowcapped mountain peaks, her characters search for love and passion. Dahl authentically illuminates the sensual side of a world of battle and plunder in an alluring collection perfect for every lover of gritty Viking romance.

A warrior recovering by a river is drawn into an unforeseen skirmish with a beautiful shield maiden. An enslaved Christian monk is entranced by his captors' pagan allure. A dissatisfied housewife finds that her home holds an unexpected and liberating secret. An injured farmer is captivated by the magic of his irresistible healer ...

In a world of crackling fires and rough landscapes, long winters and bloody raids, the immediacy of life and death ignites undeniable passions. Warriors and monks, healers and housewives - all follow the call of their hearts and bodies to indulge in pleasures that may forever change their lives.

“I dreamed of you … of us.”

Tales of Freya: Sensual Short Stories by Sarah Dahl is an alluring anthology set during the Viking era. It is the kind of book that a reader can lose themselves in again and again. There are seven short stories in this fabulous collection, three of which belong to a short-story trilogy. The trilogy includes:

The Current: A Battle of Seduction
Bonds: Under the Armour
Battles: Sacrifices for Love

I would recommend reading these three books in order. The other books in this collection standalone. All of the stories are perfect for some late-night adult reading.

I am going to tackle this review the way I read this book — one story at a time.

The Current: A Battle of Seduction

“We’re alive. You make me feel alive...”

After surviving the savage violence that comes with war, Aldaith seeks some water to wash away the grimness of the day from his skin. But he is not the only one who has sought to wash the blood from his hands and to his delight, he has an unexpected encounter.

Shield-Maiden, Nyssa, is a formidable warrior and when she wants something, she gets it. And right now, she wants Aldaith — body and soul.

The Current: A Battle of Seduction is a passionate post-battle romance between a warrior and a shield-maiden. It is unashamedly sensual as battle exhaustion is replaced with unquenchable lust.

Although the plot of this story is sexually driven, Dahl has paid close attention to the historical detailing of this book. Her writing is effortlessly authentic to the Viking era and incredibly compelling.

Tantalisingly tempting and spine-tinglingly enjoyable, The Current: A Battle for Seduction is a fabulous book in which to open this anthology.

The Awakening: Embrace Beyond Passion

“You take what you want, Ingrid. I’m yours...”

Ingrid may well be married, but she has never felt more alone. Her husband thinks that she should be content with some beautiful jewellery and his selfish attention when he is home, but Ingrid dreams of so much more. In fact, her dreams are filled with someone who is most definitely not her husband.

The Awakening: Embrace Beyond Passion was one of my absolute favourite stories in this anthology. Ingrid and Rikard’s story is one of those that you don’t want to end. It was far too short for my liking. I could have read about their love affair for hours! It is intensely passionate and incredibly evocative. Brilliant! Loved, loved, loved it!

Monk: Captured by Temptation

“You’re not a monk anymore…”

Alistair’s life changed the day the Vikings came. Now he is a slave, and he must make the best of it. But what he did not expect was to have feelings for his pagan mistress. Nothing must come of his desire, for he is a monk and he has taken a vow of celibacy. If only Runa were not so alluring...

Oh. My. Days! This story completely stole my breath and left me begging for more. Dahl really turned up the heat for this one. Hot! Hot! Hot! She has created wonderfully realistic characters and a very compelling storyline. Kudos, Ms Dahl.

Bonds: Under the Armour

“You look ... like you came straight down from Asgard.”

It is the eve of a great battle. Aldaith and Nyssa have found a secluded spot where they can hone their fighting skills. But soon they realise that tomorrow's sunrise may well be the last one they see for nothing is assured in battle. Passion takes precedence over any last minute preparation.

This is the second book about Aldaith and Nyssa, and like The Current, Bonds is just as passionate, but with the added touch of time — the passion is tempered by love. I thought this was a beautiful story. Dahl writes with so much energy and intensity that at times, I forgot I was reading! I was swept away by this story and these characters.

Healer: The Gift of Dreams

“You unleash something I thought was buried and lost...”

Grief has crippled Magnus, and his body no longer feels like his own. He thinks he needs a healer, and that is what he gets with Audr. What he does not realise is that Audr will change his life in ways he cannot even begin to imagine.

Healer: The Gift of Dreams is a blissfully slow burning read where the passion heats up slowly until it boils over. I adored Magnus, whose heart, at the beginning of the story, has been utterly crushed. He is lost, not in the physical sense but the emotional one. Audr helps him to find himself once again and reawaken a passion that Magnus has all but forgot about. An enjoyable story about some fantastic protagonists.

Tower: Unchained by Love

“Reminding myself of what we had was the only thing that kept me sane...”

Raven stole something very precious. He took Adisa, the woman Myskia is in love with. Myskia will do anything and everything to rescue his beloved.

The Tower is a very emotional tale. Adisa’s sense of abandonment and Myskia’s battle to find her and rescue her was incredibly moving. Their reunion was heartbreaking, but this is a story where love conquers all. Wonderful storytelling.

Battles: Sacrifices for Love

“If one of us dies, the other must follow.”

If they are to die, then let it be together. Without each other, life will lose all meaning. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, and no one can predict who will live and who will die in battle. Such things are in the hands of the Gods.

Battles: Sacrifices for Love is the third book in the story of Aldaith and Nyssa. It is also by far the most moving. In this book, Dahl has decided to add two timelines. The Viking era and the modern era, and so we follow not only Aldaith and Nyssa’s story but also the archaeologists who have discovered their grave. I thought this mixed timeline worked really well and certainly added to the tension of this story — another great read.

Tales of Freya is an evocative and sensual collection of short stories. It will awaken your senses and leave you gasping for more. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Pick up your copy of
Tales of Freya

Sarah Dahl
Sarah Dahl lives on the edge of the rural German Eifel and writes historical fiction (novels and short stories) primarily set in the Viking age. She was an editor in several German publishing houses and managed a translation agency. The magic of writing re-entered her life at UCD Dublin, where she sat in J.R.R. Tolkien’s office every day, while working on the ‘Dictionary of Hiberno-English’. Tolkien’s spirit must have done something to her creative muscles – it sure wasn’t the bland view from his office. She became a full-time writer soon after and still works as an editor, translates, and coaches new authors. She is interested in everyday life in bygone centuries and the human stories that may have occurred behind the hard, historical facts.

Connect with Sarah: Website • Newsletter • Facebook • Twitter • Instagram • Goodreads.

1 comment:

  1. Beatrice Rivers20 June 2019 at 18:37

    Congratulations, Sarah! Such a great review.


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