A highly engaging fusion of historical fantasy and Nordic myth, this second installment in Mark Howard’s Griffins Legends series (after 2021’s Godfrey’s Crusade) follows crusader Godfrey de Bastogne as he and his company are forced to defend a fortress besieged by enemies.
Having secured Oslo Fortress from a host of berserkers and assorted monstrosities, Godfrey—accompanied by his betrothed Madeline and his best friend Walaric, a soon-to-be-ordained priest—are forced to stay in the wilderness castle instead of returning home, in order to secure the area from being taken back by the savages.
When Nordsman High Warlord Alvir decides to besiege the fortress with a host of more than 10,000 warriors—including berserkers, orcs, cyclops, and black satyrs—Godfrey and his few hundred soldiers come face-to-face with the brutal reality of their looming deaths. As the siege drags on into months, things begin unraveling inside the stronghold. Godfrey—not even 18 years old—struggles with the relentless pressures of being a leader; Madeline’s attempt to understand and control her magical powers leads her into darkness, and Walaric embarks on a journey of self-discovery that may not include being a conventional man of the cloth.
The storyline is powered by a multitude of strengths: a cast of deeply developed characters, rich world-building, nonstop action, emotional intensity, and skillfully choreographed battle sequences. But the story’s biggest hook is the amount of fantastical ingredients mixed into the narrative broth. The story includes griffins, Amazons, goblins, fallen angels, hellhounds, grimoires, the undead, vampires, and demons, to name a few.
While the myriad fantastical elements included has the potential to have an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink feel to it, the author juggles the various concepts masterfully, creating a fantasy that is simultaneously familiar but unique: the tried-and-true blueprint for a commercially successful fantasy saga.
In short, Godfrey Under Siege is highly recommended.
Also available as an ebook.