I requested this book because I loved the first one in this Viking murder mystery series and was really looking forward to reading more about Helga. I wasn't disappointed!
Council is set about five years on from the first book, Kin. Helga has settled in Uppsala, near the court of King Erik. She is well regarded as a healer and is now in her first serious relationship. The King has summoned all who owe him fealty to a council and, with rumours of an imminent attack, tempers are fraying, even before the discovery of a body. Can Helga solve the murder before anyone else is killed? And can King Erik get everyone to work together to prevent a war?
I love the character of Helga and it is so refreshing to read a murder mystery set amongst the Vikings! I'm fascinated by history and I enjoyed the appearances of real-life vikings Harald Bluetooth and Styrbjorn the Strong! My favourite part of the story was when Helga joins a party of spies heading to Harald Bluetooth's court. Although I thought I'd worked out one of the twists I was completely wrong. The ending was extremely nail-biting and I also liked that there was a hint of the next adventure to come.
The pace is slow to start with, which didn't bother me, but I can appreciate some readers might not like this. There were also a lot of characters, which could be confusing at times. But I'm sure anyone who enjoys stories about vikings, or historical mysteries that are just a little bit different, would love reading Council.
I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book, which will be published on 16th May 2019.
Thank you to Snorri Kristjansson and Jo Fletcher Books (Quercus) for my copy of this book, which I requested from NetGalley and reviewed voluntarily.