Muus is only a thrall, a chattel without rights, but he knows the small, blue shard he picked up belongs to him alone. Kjelle, heir to the Lord of a rich mininghold, is strong, and covetous of his thrall's tantalizing find. The one's greed causes an avalanche that leaves both young men marooned on an icy mountain slope. The other's commonsense saves their lives from cold and starvation. Now the antagonists are bound together on a danger-laden journey to a lost and burning land, where Muus needs to connect the skyshard to the Kalmanir, the standing stone that is the world’s fount of all magic. The Kalmanir's time is almost up and it urgently needs to be replenished before the magic of Gods and men runs out. The two antagonists have to learn to trust each other, for all around them, enemies abound. Rebels threaten both the kingdom and Kjelle's holding, and a tribe of mad idolaters is trying to recall the banned primordial Old Gods. Even more imminent is Muus' danger, for it comes from nearby, from the shard itself. Muus is the only one person in the world who can wield the powerful skyshard. Will he succeed with Kjelle's help to reach the standing stone before the world's magic dies? Shardfall is an epic, non-gritty journey through a wild, snowy land. Each of the four main characters, Muus, Kjelle, the young wisewoman Birthe with her baby son Buí and the naive Tuuri, who serves the enemy, will have to overcome not only the dangers of their journey, but also their own shortcomings
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Shardfall is the first book of the Shardheld Saga by Paul E. Horsman. It is exactly the type of book that grabs my attention because it has a great world for the characters to have their adventure in. Horsman went all out with a fantastic story set in Viking like times. The story is featured around a few main characters and a whole cast of secondary characters. Muus, Kjelle, and Birthe are the ones most focused on but they don't monopolize the book. Each character has their own mannerisms that I love and it makes you more focused in the story. This is a fast paced book that drags the reader along for a fantastic ride through the characters world. I never reveal any spoilers but I was super pleased with the ending and I was left wanting more. Horsman did a great job keeping me glued to the pages and I would definitely buy any more books in this series. I love YA books just like this one and I think that enemies to friends (or at least grudging respect) is one of my favorite tropes. I wanted Kjelle and Muus to become fast buddies but the story did not immediately jump into that which made it all the more sweet.
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