Hag of the Hills by J.T.T. Ryder

The Bronze Sword Cycles Book 1

Book Blog Tour – Book Review

Pages: 286
Genre: Fantasy Action & Adventure / Historic Fantasy / Prehistoric Fantasy Fiction / Historical Fiction / Historical
Warnings: Minor Sex Scenes / Language

Book Summary

“Nothing is unconquerable; even our gods can die.”

Brennus is destined from birth to become a warrior, despite his farmer’s life. But when the Hillmen kill his family and annihilate his clan, he now has the opportunity to avenge those who he loved.

Brennus must survive endless hordes of invading Hillmen and magic-wielding sidhe, aided by only a band of shifty mercenaries, and an ancient bronze sword.

Failure means his family and clan go unavenged. Victory will bring glory to Brennus and his ancestors. Hag of the Hills is a heroic fantasy novel set in 200 B.C. on the Isle of Skye, steeped in Celtic mythology and culture.



Rating: 3 out of 5.

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My Thoughts

Hag of the Hills is a very well-thought-out book. There is so much history included in these pages and you can see that the author comes from a background of studying it. The story was interesting and had a lot of twists and turns that were unexpected. There were a lot of Scottish words that I didn’t understand and that I didn’t want to go back and forth to the beginning of the book to see what they meant. But I still got the jist of the story.

Brennus is a young boy that is trying to find out who he is in the world. He wants adventure and glory because it runs in his veins from his ancestors. This causes him to make a deal with the Hag of the Hills. He’s not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. He does however realize that everything has a price and this is repeated many, many times throughout the book.

I was kept guessing a lot of the time because I don’t usually read historical fiction. The shock factor was definitely there with detailed fight scenes and the way they talk about women and sex. A lot of swearing is also used. One of the reasons I wanted to read this book was because of the Isle of Skye and it was great reading about the weather and surroundings.

I felt like Brennus was on the outskirts of his story most of the time. I also didn’t quite understand the whole ‘new person now’ thing after he took the other man’s sword and clothes. I suppose it has to do with their culture. I could mostly understand the dialogue but there were times when it was a bit of a struggle.

The characters were different and not always likable, in fact, most were not likable but they gave off a strong Viking feel which is probably what the author was going for. Myrnna’s part of the story is a disappointment because she is the daughter of the chief druid and was druid taught and had the sight but never becomes anything in this book, she is a spectator and damsel in distress.

This is book 1 in a series and it leads into book 2. I gave the book 3/5 stars because I felt that there was a lot missing and I wanted more story than constant fighting.

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes reading historical fiction or Viking books or if you like reading about the Celts and Romans.

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