Tower of Obsidian by L. T. Getty

Tower of Obsidian by L. T. Getty
Publisher: Burst
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Length: Full Length (313 pages)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

When Kale mac Tadhg is betrayed by his Lord’s men, he is sent on an impossible quest: slay a witch in a tower, and end a people’s curse. Both Kale’s best friend and brother-in-arms Aaron Smithson and former betrothed Aoife of Westgate set out to rescue him, but their journey takes them into the uncharted waters and Northwestern Nordic colonies, to a land cursed and all but forgotten. They begin to realize that there is some truth to old legends. Kale’s rescue comes at a price—for by the time Aaron and Aoife know where to search, like so many before him, Kale is bound to the ancient tower’s fate.

This is a tale of love, betrayal, dragons, and an impossible quest. It is set very loosely in the dark ages in Ireland and the seas to the northwest.

The duke’s son-in-law is killed at the end of a ten year war, and the duke, in failing health, needs to secure the power for his grandsons. He therefore requires Kale mac Tadhg to break off his betrothal to his beloved Aoife and instead marry the slain prince’s widow, because Kale and his father are completely loyal to the duke. Before the marriage can take place, Kale is betrayed by the duke’s enemies, and as Kale attempts to save Aoife from abduction, he is captured and handed over to corsairs. He is taken aboard their ship to be sold as a slave in a distant port. However, the corsairs are attacked by draugr… and thus begins a tale fit for legends.

L. T. Getty demonstrates that she has researched both Irish and Norse cultures in the 1000’s and her novel accurately reflects these societies. She has woven a complex and intricate plot filled with interesting, well-defined, and well-rounded characters. She has described a heroic quest undertaken by a strong woman, the former betrothed Aoife. Along the way Aoife is aided by others in her attempt to find Kale and defeat the witch in the tower. Getty has fashioned a believable world filled with humans, gods and dragons. Her descriptions of sailing across uncharted waters towards Nordic colonies are harrowing and compelling.

Getty does an excellent job of shifting between Kale and Aoife after Kale is carried away. The shifts are natural and easy to follow so that the timeline of events is consistent and well presented. The novel is fast paced, and the pages just turn themselves. The ending of the novel is most satisfactory, and the story lines are tied up in a way that seems natural and believable.

I really enjoyed this novel, and I can certainly recommend it to any fans of historical fantasy. I hope to read more of Getty’s novels in the future as she is an excellent story teller and writer.

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