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A Mankind Witch (Heirs of Alexandria Book 2)

A Mankind Witch (Heirs of Alexandria Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Dave Freer
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

To the North of the Holy Roman Empire are the pagan Norse-lands. It is here that Prince Manfred of Brittany, and Erik, his Icelandic bodyguard, must venture in the dead of winter to a mountainous land of trolls and ice to find a stolen pagan relic, the arm-ring of Odin, something so magical that it should not be possible to move it beyond its wards, let alone take it away. It is gone, and unless it is recovered before Yuletide and the re-affirmation of truce-oaths, a new Viking age will be born. King Vorenbras will lead his berserkers in an orgy of killing, rapine, looting and destruction, across the Empire’s unguarded North-Western flank.
Princess Signy is the King’s older stepsister, and everyone believes her to be the thief, a witch and a murderess. Everyone, that is, but Cair, her stable-thrall, a man plucked from the ocean, with a hidden past. Cair doesn’t believe in witches or magic, let alone that Signy could steal and murder. If he has to drag the foremost knight of the age, and his deadly bodyguard kicking and screaming though the entire Norse nine worlds to prove it and free her, he’d do it. No Kobold, dwarf, or troll is going to stop him, or his scepticism. Not the wild hunt. Not even a Grendel. He doesn’t believe in this superstitious rubbish. He’s a man of science and learning, and he’s used that to fake his way into being feared as a magic worker. But for Signy, he’ll be all of mankind’s witches.
He’ll have to be, because that’s what it’ll take to defeat the dark magical forces which are marshalled against them.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 627 KB
  • Print Length: 499 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #115,752 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great entry in the Shadow of the Lion series 28 May 2013
By Fulby
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The feel of A Mankind Witch very much matched the other books in the series, so if you enjoyed them I recommend this one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Bunch 30 Jun 2005
By Walt Boyes - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There are now three volumes in the Heirs of Alexandria Series, beginning with Shadow of the Lion. Unlike the first two, A Mankind Witch is not written jointly by David Freer and his two jolly collaborators, Eric Flint and Mercedes Lackey. This actually makes for a better book, since Freer is well known for tightly plotted, spare writing while the first two volumes were classic BFF (big fat fantasy).

What is very cool about this book is the way Freer simply drops us into the Milieu, without any explanation and avoids almost all infodumping throughout the book.

Like the first two novels, it is interesting on a different level if you know enough Original Time Line history to figure out who some of the characters are, like Loyola and his original band of Jesuits in the first two books, or Khaireddin Barbarossa in this one.

Even if you don't know any history, and are reading this book on the level of fantasy, rather than alternate history (both of which it supports famously well) you'll find lots of depth. Freer weaves both the Beowulf and Hamlet stories together to make a real adventure that races like the rapids in a river to its startling conclusion.

Read this book. This is Dave Freer's real breakout solo novel, and he deserves a much wider following.

Walt Boyes

The Bananaslug. at Baen's Bar
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that works on many levels, and fun to boot! 3 July 2005
By L. Runkle - Published on
What happens when a skeptical Barbary corsair, a man of science and astronomy, is captured and made a thrall in Norway? What happens when a people who live life full of mythology are confronted with someone who's not afraid of spirits, curses, and otherworldly things, for he doesn't believe in them? What happens when uncanny plots are then put into motion?

A Mankind Witch is about the clash of worlds and cultures on many levels, and it's a fun read on many levels.

A Mankind Witch is part of the Heirs of Alexandria series, a fantastical alternate history in which magic works, and the famed Library of Alexandria never burned. But don't despair if you haven't read the other very good books in this series, _This Rough Magic_, and _The Shadow of the Lion_. A Mankind Witch stands very well on its own.

This book reads very well as a fantastical look at Norse Mythology, complete with Odin, trolls, dwarves, kobolds, elves, and witches. You can't go wrong putting Grieg on the soundtrack and settling in for a good read. Readers who have little or no acquaintance with Norse Mythology will very much enjoy this book without needing any deeper knowledge of the history behind it.

The book also reads very well as a satirical alternate history. As you recognize different people, you may find yourself snickering uncontrollably, and then reading to find how these people end up working together.

If you read it on both levels, and add in a further level of song and story, this is so very much fun. I'd swear that Mr. Freer used Grieg's _Hall of the Mountain King_ to help him pace the book - it starts quickly, and maintains the tension clear to the finale. I highly recommend this book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good book by Freer 30 Jun 2005
By Gunnar Dahlin - Published on
Outwardly an adventure story, this yarn holds enough wheels within wheels to make it a mystery story as well. Freer is good at making you like the protagonists while not overdoing the dastardlines of their adversaries. And yes, they are dastardly enough, but in a way that makes sense all the way to the finish line.

The main protag isn't at least initially someone you'd bring home to show your parents, but as the story unfolds so does the gems hidden within the man. The same goes for the other new protags, while the established charachters from the previous books in this series (The Shadow of the Lion, This rough magic) lends continuity. This is needed since the setting in the old Norse lands brings about a radical departure from sophisticated Venice.

For a foreigner, Freer has a firm grasp of the norse mythos, and his slight departures from what used to be common lore in the scandinavian area will work very well with all but the most nit-picky readers. In fact, some of Freer's interpretations are actually superior to the traditional stuff as the story often explores what's behind the surface of the myth.

I'd urge anyone to pick this one up, preferably together with the earlier books in the series.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More please 1 July 2005
By H. Sowle - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In the third book in the Heirs of Alexandria series Dave Freer goes out on his own and does an outstanding job with it. He introduces a new protagonist, Cair, whose jaundiced view of everything magic is at odds with everything going on around him in the world that he has just been made a Thrall (slave) in. The book takes place in the cold Norse lands and for those with no knowledge of the mythology or the places it is weaved into the plot so you discover it with Cair as he goes along.

An incredible solo novel in the midst of collaborations with powerhouses Eric Flint and Mercedes Lackey, it is a must read for those who have enjoyed the first two novels in the series as well as for those who haven't but are fans of mythology and/or alternate history.

The only thing wrong with the book is that it ended, which just leaves me wanting more.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freer Unbound 30 Jun 2005
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was very excited to see the first Freer solo-title since the Forlorn. In reading this book, I found the classic hallmarks of a Dave Freer book: likeable characters easy to identify with, a constant hum of adventure, a wealth of detail seamlessly integrated into the story, and the layered structure of his humor that so smoothly carries the deeper satire and irony.

A Mankind Witch is a breath of fresh air as it injects a cynic into a world obsessed with magic. The adventures of Cair as he exploits superstition and leverages technology against the mystical creates a running tension that is keeps the reader wondering how it will all pan out in the end.

Definitely a read worth owning.
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