Review of “Järnulven” by Siri Pettersen

Title: Järnulven (~The Iron Wolf)
Author: Siri Pettersen
Translator (Swedish): Ylva Kempe
Series: Vardari #1
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 500
Published: 2020 (translated 2021), B. Wahlströms
My Grade: 5 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION (translated to English by me)

A young girl is forced to forget that she has seen the devil. A young man betrays his lover to gain eternal life. A mystical clockwork starts ticking again after 600 years of silence. A secret that’s been guarded for generations is about to be revealed.

Juva hates bloodreaders. They are praised because they can see the future, but in reality, they are swindlers who take advantage of people’s fears. Juva’s heritage is of a bloodreader’s family, but she has sworn to never become one of them. But when her family is threatened, she is forced to join the hunt for the bloodreaders’ legacy; a dark secret that once changed the world and will do it again. To survive, she must confront her childhood memory that she has been struggling her whole life to forget – that time when she saw the devil.

The Iron Wolf is a captivating story about blood, desire and obsession. It is the first book of the Vardari trilogy, which takes place in the same universe as the praised series The Raven Rings.

MY REVIEW

After absolutely loving The Raven Rings trilogy, Siri’s debut trilogy, there was no doubt that I would read this as soon as opportunity arose. I try not to read several books at the same time, and with lots of work and other things going on, my reading has been lacking this past year. But I finally finished it and I, as I expected, CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT. I think I read somewhere that it will be released in spring 2022 in Norway. So maybe fall 2022 in Swedish?

I’m sure authors don’t like it when a reader compare her new book with her old ones. But I’ve also realized that that is what makes readers pick up the next book without even knowing what it is about, because they know what to expect. And this was just like that. A new setting, absolutely, a little bit more modern, but kind of hard to tell exactly when in time as well. It’s set in another dimension of the same universe as Odin’s Child and that is perfectly clear at the end of the book. Without spoiling anything, I feel like there is a strong connection between a character in this book and a race of people in Odin’s Child. I even think they might be the same? It might be clearer in the next installment.

What makes it so brilliant? My gut tells me it’s a solid five. But also, the pacing is good, things are always happening. The story starts a little bit quicker this time. I love it when it is not crystal clear who the antagonist is. I feel like we’ve been led to believe it is one through the whole story, but at the end. I’m still not sure if that’s really the case. It’s hard to put the book down. I unfortunately had to almost every night after only a few pages because I fell asleep with it in my hand after too long days at work. But wow, you always want to find out what’s next. And that leaves me to the ending. Yes, it was an ending to this story. But it left so many questions! An ending done right. A new series done right!

I can’t wait for the second book, which hasn’t even gotten a name yet. And I highly recommend people to read this very original fantasy book with roots in the North. I would also recommend reading The Raven Rings before. Even if they are completely stand alone, it’s great to understand certain words and expressions that aren’t explained here, but are in her other series. A solid 5 out of 5 possible.

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