Review: The Runes of Destiny by Christina Courtenay

I'm absolutely delighted to take part in this blog tour for The Runes of Destiny by Christina Courtenay

My thanks goes to Rachel's Random Resources for a copy. Having enjoyed reading Echoes of the Runes, I just had to sign up.

When Linnea discovers an ancient brooch, she is fascinated by it and takes a closer look. She'd better not have done that, as the familiar landscape around her changes. Yes, she's still in the same place, but what happened? 

Those Viking reenactors who find her, where did they come from? She'd not heard of any events locally. But she plays along with their ’game’, and is even impressed by their fluent use of Old Norse. As she has a grasp of it, she can make out some words. But it all doesn't make any sense.

Linnea finds it hard to accept that she's really tumbled into the ninth century. But as a thrall, a slave, to Hravn, a Viking warrior, she soon realises the truth. When he sets out on a journey across sea and land, to a faraway place no one in his settlement has ever travelled, reality sinks in. He wants to sell her for a good price, to set up his own home, independent of his nasty older brother. Linnea plots to get her hands on the brooch again to return to her time, but every time she gets close, she fails. 

In the meantime, a strong bond develops between Linnea and Hravn, much to his reluctance – she's a thrall, after all, to be sold. As they travel to the Baltic, then southwards on their long journey to modern-day Istanbul, he feels drawn to this strange girl with her ridiculous tales of coming from the future. 

Their journey, across fast-flowing rivers, deserted lands and bustling trade posts, they encounter hostile tribes, but also intrigues from within as Hravn's no-good brother has his eye on Linnea. She must protect herself from danger, and from her growing feelings for Hravn.

I had to smile when Linnea finally gets hold of the brooch and takes Hravn into the future. His reaction to all the ’wonders’ of modern day is priceless. We'd probably be as stunned as he was.

The Runes of Destiny is a wonderful read. It takes you on an epic journey from Sweden, through the Baltic Sea, across dangerous territories to the city we now know as Istanbul. A feat for a modern traveller, but back in the days of the Vikings, it was quite something else. The author has described this journey beautifully, and you could get a real sense of Viking exploration. 

I loved the inclusion of characters from Echoes of the Runes. Some lovely surprises there.

The characters are strong, but each with their own weaknesses and challenges. It is not a smooth ride for Linnea or Hravn, but one of discovery, acceptance and, above all, trust. But both know that his future cannot lie in the 21st century, so what are they to do?

Well, grab a copy of The Runes of Destiny and find out for yourself! I can highly recommend it. 


The Runes of Destiny

Separated by time. Brought together by fate.

Linnea felt a shiver travel the length of her spine.

It hadn’t been a joke – the runes really had shown her destiny.

Indulging her fascination for the Viking language and losing herself in an archaeological dig is just what Linnea Berger needs after her recent trauma. Uncovering an exquisite brooch, she blacks out reading the runic inscription, only to come to, surrounded by men in Viking costume, who seem to take re-enactment very seriously.

Lost and confused, Linnea finds herself in the power of Hrafn, a Viking warrior who claims her as his thrall and takes her on a treacherous journey across the seas to sell her for profit. Setting sail, she confronts the unthinkable: she has travelled back to the ninth century.

Linnea is determined to find a way back to her own time, but there’s a connection forming with Hrafn. Can she resist the call of the runes and accept her destiny lies here …

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About the Author: 

Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. 

Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014).  The Runes of Destiny (time travel published by Headline 10th December 2020) is her latest novel. 

Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

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