Second book of the Wyrd
By Alis Franklin
Available now from Hydra (Penguin Random House)
Read my review of Liesmith
STORMBRINGER, the sequel to LIESMITH, plays out the consequences of the major reveal. I think that people who haven't read LIESMITH would be quite confused, but they're cheap books so there's no reason not to read it.
There is a shift in focus from LIESMITH. The relationship between Sigmund and Lain takes a backseat, and they are in fact separated for most of STORMBRINGER. Lain is imprisoned and forced on a quest for Mjölnir. Sigmund is working to free him. Meanwhile, Hel is fighting for better rights for the dead who didn't go to Valhalla. It's a great plotline that combines the modern and mythological elements brilliantly as she and Sigmund's friends reframe the story and start to gain support.
The focus has also shifted from Miðgarðr to Asgard. The first book took place mostly in our world, but STORMBRINGER takes place mostly in theirs. This change in perspective worked well. It helps explain more of how the world works and what's at stake. It also helps show what Miðgarðr has to offer - namely the advancements humans have made since the Aesir paid any attention to them. Women's rights drive the story in more ways that I expected when I picked STORMBRINGER up.
I think Alis Franklin showed good growth as a writer. There are several different plot threads in STORMBRINGER, but they're resolved with less confusion than in LIESMITH. I missed the central romance, but I think giving it a bit of a breather could be a good move in the long run. I'm certainly enjoying the series enough to return for book three.
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