Likening this book to trash is, without exaggeration, an insult to dumps all over the world.
Zarabeth lives with her pervy step-father Olav and her young step-sister Lotti. A viking farmer/trader/raider named Magnus sees her and immediately decides that he must marry her. She’s pretty ok with that idea but has to convince Magnus that she has changed her mind when Olav threatens to hurt Lotti. Fast-forward a bit (Days? Weeks? Months? No clue) and Zarabeth has been forced to marry the pervy step-father. He dies, she goes on trial for his murder and Magnus returns at just the right moment to prevent her from being put to death by convincing the king to give her to him as his slave.
I think this book was meant to be a romance. It has the rough outline, at least- immediate attraction to stranger, obstacles in the way, love prevails- but this book is basically a litany of attempted rapes.
Three different characters attempt to rape Zarabeth. Three female characters are raped throughout the course of the story.
Zarabeth is repeatedly raped by Magnus. It turns out ok, though, because she realizes that she hasn’t been sympathetic enough to him so those rapes don’t count.
The villain of the book is villainous because of his habit of raping women, killing the people in the areas he has pillaged, stealing gold and jewels, and selling slaves. Magnus, the hero, is completely different- he rapes his slaves (or the slave he has just married), kills only strangers in the towns that he pillages, steals only from strangers, and buys slaves but doesn’t sell them.
This book is wet, hot garbage in the noonday sun.
And I had to stop counting the typos because I lost track.
Writing this post, I discovered that it is the first in a series. WTF? So here is my first CBR Bingo Square: And So It Begins. It should’ve ended after 50 pages.