Hekla’s Children – James Brogden (Kendall Review)

Four students disappear whilst on a school excursion to Sutton Park, Birmingham. Nathan Brookes was supervising the children that fateful day. After questioning the police release him due to a lack of evidence.

Olivia Crawford was one of the missing students, she was found in the Park a day later, she has no memory of  the incident.

A decade later, Olivia and Nathans worlds collide when a body is found in the area where the students went missing. Identified as a Bronze Age warrior by Osteoarchaeologist Tara Doumani, it transpires that all is not as it seems with the perfectly preserved body. Triggering memories, Olivia is desperate for the body to be returned to the earth. For he is a Guardian, a warrior that’s keeping a terrible evil at bay.

Hekla’s Children is a tale of archaeology, mythology and shamanism. It’s a compelling fantasy thriller with elements of horror that will leave you ready for more adventures within the incredibly well imagined, alternate spirit world, The Un.

It would be unfair on the reader and author if I were to elaborate more on The Un beyond it’s an idea that works incredibly well, it’s a place where it’s cultures have beliefs shockingly different to our own. It would be very interesting to see future novels telling more stories from within this world that lives by laws considered abhorrent in ours.

The characters are all well written, with the dialogue pacey and believable, especially when adults and children are interacting. The story is not beyond criticism though, I was a little surprised at a character making a relationship choice for no clear reason other than, why the hell not, it just didn’t play right for me, Additionally, there were some odd uses of humour scattered throughout, but these are tiny criticisms that in no way ruined the story.

Hekla’s Children is a thrilling read, the very definition of a page turner. Believable characters populate worlds you  would want to return to.

As mentioned before, this book does have a fair few twists, so it would be good to come back and discuss this book in more detail at a later date.

I couldn’t possible finish this review without mentioning the Epilogue. I’m not ashamed to say that there was a tear in my eye after finishing those 6 pages of emotional brilliance.

I thoroughly recommend this book, the possibility of any sequels genuinely excites me.

Star Rating (out of 5): 4****


Hekla’s Children is released 7th March 2017 by Titan Books.

Thank you to Titan Books and Lydia Gittins for sending me an advanced copy of the book.

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