I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
The story is a continuation from “Odin’s Shadow” and starts with Selia’s return to her husband Alrik. She tells him that she will stay with him and that she loves him. Alrik is grateful that she has returned since he is lost without her. Selia must now deal with the consequences of staying with Alrik and must make many difficult decisions to ensure her safety and the safety of her unborn child. The birth of Muirin’s child, a slave girl whose child belongs either to Alrik or to his brother Ulfrik, changes Selia’s world forever. She must convince Alrik to claim the child so that he will become Hersir and lead the Vikings one day. If he doesn’t claim the child, Selia’s child will one day have to lead raids against his own Irish descendants. The thought breaks Selia’s heart so she must work fast to save her child from a cruel fate. What Selia doesn’t know is that this simple choice will bring much pain and sorrow to her and her family. One choice can change the entire course of history, for the worse.
The entire time I read this book, I couldn’t wait to read the next page. Not only are the details crisp and beautiful, but Mrs. Riley creates tension during each key moment so that you can’t put the book down until you know what happens. This time around, Selia has grown up and is no longer a love sick puppy who forgives Alrik for all of his horrible deeds. She is forced to finally see Alrik for the monster that he is when he threatens the children. A person can accept many levels of abuse when they are the one being abused, but things change when a child becomes involved. Though Selia is taking a huge risk in protecting her children, I was glad to see that she was able to make the difficult decision of putting her children first.
I found it interesting that the relationship between Selia and her wicked step-daugther, Ingrid, finally changed. I always thought that they would end up killing each other. Now they are forced to work together against a common enemy. I was touched by a moment when Ingrid actually sympathized with Selia, though Selia decided that she didn’t want Ingrid’s pity.
Mrs. Riley has taken the idea of loving a cruel man and explored all the levels of abuse that a person must go through before finally realizing that the love they once had is not enough to excuse their horrible behavior. It’s a tale that many are familiar with, but one that not everyone can walk away from. She has taken a small naive girl and turned her into a strong woman able to protect her child, while sacrificing her needs for theirs. I love this series and am hopeful for a good outcome in “Oath Breaker.” I gave “A Flame Put Out” 5 stars.
What Happen When Love Isn't Enough?