The City of Runes

The City of Runes
Dagmara Drozdowska
Data premiery
Liczba stron
New Generation Publishing

“The City of Runes” by Dragmara Drozdowska is a fast-paced adventure through myths and legends. The book is a debut novel; the author was shortlisted in the Pen to Print Book Challenge Competition. The story captivated the jury, and as an award, the novel was published. This is a truly inspiring success story and if you wish to know more, don’t hesitate to reach to Dagmara on social media.

Dr Erika Skyberg is living her dream life. She is a curator in a Viking museum in Oslo and is well known as an expert in her field. The only downside is that protagonist is incredibly unlucky with her love life. But there’s nothing much she can do about it, and it’s not like it’s the end of the world. But her orderly life is going to turn upside down when she gets a call from enigmatic Professor Wright to assist with the investigation on a case of theft of a Viking Ring.

The whole story is a mystery with a historical fiction vibe. The story begins at night robbery at the British Museum, where some things didn’t go according to plan, and an innocent man got killed. When Erika arrives in London, she knows nothing about what exactly is expected of her, and an evasive explanations form Professor Wright are not helping in gaining her trust. But events are escalating very quickly and faced with imminent danger the two of them decides to join forces to find the long-lost Viking treasure.

The first part of the novel is more focus on the modern world and what we witness every day. You will even get on a sightseeing trip through London with Erika. But the further the story goes, the more mysticism and magic we get. In the last few chapters, there are pretty wild scenes happening. And all of this based on Nordic mythology and tales. So if you are fans of those, you are in for a treat.

One of the strongest suits in this book is undoubtedly Norse mythology elements. The author must have done thorough research, as all the runes and symbols used in the novel are authentic. The Einarr’s saga is a pure creation of the author’s imagination though, but it feels very genuine, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I found it in the Norse mythology. Those old tales were my favourite parts of the book – they are very beautifully written, mysterious, and alluring.

I usually have an issue with books that are too long and could do with fewer pages. But in this case, it is the opposite. The whole novel is around 200 pages long, and it feels kind of rushed. I think it would be beneficial to make it a little longer. There are many suspenseful scenes, but all of them are resolved very quickly, after a few paragraphs, so the reader won’t actually feel the tension. On the other hand, it is a quick read, so if you are looking for a novel full of action for one or two evenings, that can be an asset.

Unfortunately, I must admit that the publisher made a rather poor job with the book redaction. You can find some errors in the text, that shouldn’t pass the correct. I know it may be not very pleasant for some people and prevent them from enjoying the actual story, which is worth the reading. I personally, after the first few chapters, stopped paying attention to those and was able to focus on the tale.

“The City of Runes” is definitely a book worth reading, especially if you have a soft spot for Viking theme. The action progress quickly, the race between the vicious killer and the pair of history scientists is on, and the border between the myths and reality becomes very thin—a perfect read for those long autumn evenings.