Asmodeus: The Legend of Margrét and the Dragon by Brooks Hansen


Asmodeus: The Legend of Margrét and the Dragon by Brooks Hansen
Publisher: Star Pine Books
Genre: Historical, Sci-Fi
Length: Full (272 pgs)
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Rose

…Here again, his natural figure crouched beside her in the dank darkness of the cave, watching her in silence as she slept, struggling with cravings which were new to him, both tender and violent, and which he could only really compare to hunger… (from ASMODEUS)

On the cusp of the Great War, an even more pitched battle is waged in the furthest corner of the Nordic highlands, the final chapter of a centuries-old rivalry, pitting a troubled bloodline of thieves, journeyman, and politicians against the last and greatest dragon of the hemisphere, Asmodeus.

Until now, the source of this antagonism has been a single gemstone, the fabled shamir, whose history traces to the coffers of King Solomon. The present clash, however, has been sparked by the emergence of an even more desirable, more defiant, and more powerful force than that.

Inspired by the golden legend of St. Margaret, Brooks Hansen’s Asmodeus is a masterfully woven tapestry of history, myth, and fantasy, in the tradition of J.R.R.Tolkien, Bram Stoker, and C.S. Lewis. By turns a romance, an adventure, and the darkest imaginable Gothic, his tale is also, as seen through the eyes of the maiden Margrét, an unflinching exploration of our divided nature — what makes us beasts, what makes us human, and what makes us divine.

Mr. Hansen offers a retelling of the legend of St. Margaret of Antioch. In his version, we get “the other side of the story.”

He explains how the dragon (Asmodeus) originally loses his special jewel (the shamir) and how the family that stole it from him regarded it as something almost sacred; something to be protected for all time.

Centuries pass and it’s the early 20th century– and a young shepherdess named Margrét comes to the attention of the Provost of the area, and he steals the shamir from his brother in order to use it to seduce her.

The book is well-written and the author tells a good story– I say “tells” because it was like reading a story from mythology. There’s plenty of detail, and we get to see what the various characters are thinking, but I didn’t really get the sensation of being lost in any of the characters.  The story-telling was a little distant for me.

The story itself is very interesting, however. It has some moments of slowness as the author sets up the story, but once I got past those areas, I really enjoyed the story itself. And there was some beautiful, lyrical writing.

One thing the book accomplished was to awaken my interest in St. Margaret herself… I would like to learn more about her. And, I will be looking for more of this author’s books.

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Comments

  1. Bea LaRocca says:

    Great review! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great book

  3. kim hansen says:

    Sounds like a good read.

  4. Dale Wilken says:

    I liked the excerpt Thank You.

  5. Rita Wray says:

    Sounds like a great read.

  6. Thanks for the write-up, and I’m glad the book stoked an interest in Margaret. I’m not sure there’s a whole lot more out there than what can be found in THE GOLDEN LEGEND (which concedes that it’s own account is at least in part fanciful), but she remains a fascinating and unsung character, particularly in the realm of dragon lore.

    • Very cool! How much research did you need to do before you could write the book?

      • I’ve done a number of books that have required a LOT of research – years’ worth – so by comparison, this one wasn’t too bad. The Margaret legend is really only two pages long. I used that as the skeleton, really, for the book. Updated it to roughly 1916. Transposed it to somewhere like Finland, and turned the Christians into the pagans and the pagans into the Christians. The other big piece was dragons, but there my son had recently received an encyclopedia of dragons for his birthday. That became our bedtime reading for a few months there, in the course of which I got to know dragons much better than I ever had. The whole thing really got started in the parking lot of a Vons. My wife went in to buy some milk and bread. I stayed in the car with the kids. Just to keep them busy I launched in on a dragon story. By the time my wife got back with the groceries, I was hooked. The rest – with Margaret’s help, of course — followed more organically and swiftly than I’m accustomed to, with me getting out of bed each day wondering what was going to happen next. And then figuring it out, in steady consultation with my son.

  7. bernie wallace says:

    Great post. Thank you for hosting. I hope your book is a success.

  8. I love the cover, thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. Thanks for the giveaway; I like the excerpt. 🙂

  10. Hope you had a fabulous weekend! Looking forward to checking out this book!

  11. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

  12. Kris Meldgaard says:

    Thank you for the tour!! This looks amazing!! Def tbr’d😍 Thank you for introducing a new read & a also thank you for the chance at the giveaway!💋
    💋Xoxo🍀
    📖Kris💋

  13. Lisa Brown says:

    Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  14. Hey Brooks! What’s going on in your neck of the woods today?

  15. Excellent review! Sounds like a great read!

  16. I really enjoyed reading the entire post today. This is a new author for me so thank you for the reveal!

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