In order to save my father, I have to marry the God of Death.
River of Shadows by Karina Halle is now live!
River of Shadows is an adult dark fantasy romance based on Finnish mythology and the underworld of Tuonela.
When 24-year old Hanna Heikkinen’s estranged father dies, she reluctantly makes the trip to Northern Finland for his funeral. Being in the enchanting land of ice and snow feels miles away from Hanna’s busy life back in Los Angeles, especially under the complicated circumstances.
But when Hanna discovers that her father’s body is missing, that’s when things really get weird. A mysterious man, Rasmus, tells Hanna the truth: her father was a powerful shaman who went into Tuonela, the Realm of the Dead, in order to barter for more life, and has been held captive by Tuoni, the God of Death. The only way her father can be freed is if she travels with Rasmus into the mythical underworld to rescue him.
Willing to do anything to have a second-chance with her father, Hanna accompanies Rasmus into the dark and bloody realm, traveling via the River of Shadows, stalked by dangerous creatures, monsters, and the living dead, until they finally come into the haunted kingdom ruled by Death and his family.
Only for her to be captured and held prisoner by the God of Death himself.
Turns out Death is intrigued by Hanna’s beauty and fierceness and makes a bargain with her. If she marries him, and spends an eternity in the Realm of the Dead as his wife, he’ll set her father free.
But even the most noble sacrifices come with hidden costs, and Hanna’s might involve the most unexpected of all things: her heart.
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Overall Rating 5
Kindle eArc provided by Author
Reviewed by Stephanie
Adult dark fantasy romance readers buckle up because you’re about to be taken on one hell of a wild ride. River of Shadows is book one in the Underworld Gods series and is based on Finnish mythology. I know absolutely nothing about Finnish mythology but the blurb grabbed my attention right away and it’s Karina Halle so I couldn’t wait to jump in.
“A cut that will never ever heal. A scar for all my life. Right in the heart of me.”
Hanna flies from L.A. to Finland for her beloved father’s funeral. Still in shock over the news of his death she is out of sorts when she arrives at the resort but quickly learns things aren’t really what they seem. When she realizes her father’s body isn’t in the casket where it’s supposed to be things start to get super crazy very quickly. Before she can even come to grips with whether or not everything that’s happened in the last 24 hours is real she’s entering Tuonela. The Land of the Dead. She needs to rescue her father who may actually still be alive.
“My father doesn’t want me to save him. And so I will.”
Hanna enters the land of the dead with her father’s apprentice Rasmus with one goal in mind. Find and rescue her father. But one does not just enter the land of death and leave with a powerful shaman. Oh no, it’s definitely not that easy. Hanna offers Death himself a trade. If he agrees to free her father, she will remain in the land of the dead with him forever. Death is cruel and cunning and careless. But he is also lonely and desperately wants to be able to touch someone without killing them. Hanna quickly learns that he is more than just the man behind the scary mask. There is a prophecy. Is Hanna the one who was meant to fulfill it? Or will she fight to the end to try and make it home to her father?
“You will call me death, and I will call you mine.”
The author pulls us into this truly amazing fantasy world filled with prophecies, mermaids and death. It’s dark, gritty and so damn intriguing. I will admit the first few chapters I had zero idea what the hell was going on. But at the same time it still had me one hundred percent invested in every word and every detail. I couldn’t get enough. I loved Hanna’s character. She was tough and wise but is there anyone or anything she can really trust? I never ever thought I could love Death as much as I do but somehow the author makes it possible. He’s powerful, possessive and oh so sexy. There were a lot of scenes in this book that could almost melt my kindle.
“We’re all sinners, little bird. Every one of us. To sin is to be human, to be human is to sin.”
The world, story, characters and writing the author created were all brilliant. Twists and turns. Darkness and secrets. Gods and monsters. I loved it all and can’t wait for more!
“This is it. The kiss of death. And, fuck, I want more.”
Karina Halle is a former travel writer, music journalist & screenwriter, and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling author of over 55 bestselling novels, ranging from horror and suspense to contemporary romance. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband, and her adopted pitbull Bruce, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.
Halle is represented by the Root Literary Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster, Hachette & Montlake. Her work has been translated and published in 20 languages.
Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit http://www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.
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