April 30th, 2021 by Jane Turner
This review of Cold From The North by D.W. Ross comes courtesy of a Blog Tour organised by Storytellers on Tour. I received a free copy of the paperback. Cold From The North was self-published by D.W. Ross on 14 November 2020.
Driven by the promise of an ancient prophecy which will bring the dark ways of an old god back to power and prominence, an army of invaders swarms Ogulf Harlsbane’s homeland slaughtering all those who oppose them.
Along with his people, Ogulf must seek refuge from this savage force. In his search of sanctuary, he is tasked with finding the one person who can put a stop to the onslaught.
Doing so will send him across lands and seas, have him and his closest friend navigate the intricacies of a civil war, and try to win the help of the princess fighting for her throne.
If he fails, darkness will prevail and the reign of the Onyxborn will begin.
In a nutshell: the story? Wow!
Ogulf Harlsbane’s been living the quite life in his village of Keltbran; occasionally fighting, constantly training, helping his Headman father. But, in flashbacks to Game of Thrones, winter is here and the landscape has been ice and snow for 2 years. And now there’s not only starvation to worry about…
Truthfully, the only reason this isn’t 5-stars is the edit. There was quite a bit of ‘telling’ as opposed to showing, I felt some parts should have been expanded on a little more, some should have been cut, there was the occasional word missing, and we spend a bit too much time in Ogulf’s head repeating the same things over and over. It really could have been tightened up a bit more. That said, those bits were ok to skip or look past and didn’t detract from my read.
But, let’s go over the brilliant things. The characterisations are wonderful. Ogulf is fully realised, as is Melcun. Prudun is delightfully nasty, and Danrin is the very essence of an untested master.
The evil they’re facing begins as vague, mysterious and unspecified, though things come together as we read through. Hints of this and that, then the history told in full – very nicely done.
And I actually giggled at Melcun’s misadventures! (A great rarity, to be sure!)
Ogulf and Melcun’s adventure branches well and, though their adventures on Esselonia feel a tiny bit contrived in parts, the final battle is very well executed.
Cold From the North looks to be setting up for a truly epic adventure, and I’ll definitely be keeping my eyes open for the rest of the Onyxborn Chronicle. I want to know what happens, dammit!
Excellent effort, Mr Ross!
D.W. Ross is an author who took the boredom of lockdown 2020 to another level by deciding to write a book despite having no experience in doing anything of the sort before – to say he never thought he would get this far is an understatement. One book has become a series, and now there is no stopping his creative mind as he plots books daily that he will absolutely never get to writing.
Cold From The North was his first novel, with follow up The Darkest Dusk due out in 2021, with the closing novel of the Onyxborn Chronicles coming in early 2022.
When not writing, he can be found watching pro wrestling, reading fantasy, dystopian and thriller novels, gaming, lifting weights and eating chicken wings.
D.W. lives in Scotland with his wife.
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