In Review: Thrones & Bones – Frostborn

Thrones & Bones: Frostborn is a terrific debut novel in what I'm sure is going to be a great trilogy, crammed with action and adventure

Thrones & Bones: Frostborn by Lou Anders

By Lou Anders
Cover by Justin Gerard

Published by Crown Books (Random House Children’s Books)
Out: 15th August 2014

The Book: Fantasy fans of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and John Flanagan’s Ranger’s Apprentice series will embrace this first novel in an adventure-filled, Viking-inspired series by a debut author.

Meet Karn. He is destined to take over the family farm in Norrøngard. His only problem? He’d rather be playing the board game Thrones and Bones.

Enter Thianna. Half human, half frost giantess. She’s too tall to blend in with other humans but too short to be taken seriously as a giant.

When family intrigues force Karn and Thianna to flee into the wilderness, they have to keep their sense of humour and their wits about them. But survival can be challenging when you’re being chased by a 1,500-year-old dragon, Helltoppr the undead warrior and his undead minions, an evil uncle, wyverns, and an assortment of trolls and giants.

Readers will embark on a sweeping epic fantasy as they join Karn and Thianna on a voyage of discovery.

Antics and hair-raising escapades abound in this fantasy adventure as the two forge a friendship and journey to unknown territory. Their plan: to save their families from harm.

Debut novelist Lou Anders has created a rich world of over twenty-five countries inhabited by Karn, Thianna, and an array of fantastical creatures, as well as the Thrones and Bones board game.

About the Author: Lou Anders is the Hugo Award winning editorial director of Pyr Books, as well as the WFC award nominated editor of many critically-acclaimed anthologies. He’s also a Chesley Award winning art director.

The Review: First up, a declaration. It was very hard to write this review, simply because I’ve known Lou Anders for nearly a 20 years now, ever since I commissioned his first work on Star Trek Magazine while I was at Titan Magazines. This is a guy who went above and beyond the call of duty to feed my insatiable appetite for great features and interviews for years, not only for Star Trek but particularly Babylon 5 Magazine. Heck, we even went on a road trip together to Skywalker Ranch.

In short, I’m honoured to have worked with this guy… I’ve watched him carve a deserved path from feature writer to award-winning publisher and editor… and then he asks me to review his first novel, something he’s worked on for years, developing the world behind the story, character building and the rest.  What the heck was I going to say to him if I didn’t like the damn thing?

Well, I needn’t have worried. Thrones & Bones: Frostborn is a terrific debut novel in what I’m sure is going to be a great trilogy, crammed with action and adventure, believable characters you can genuinely care about and some wonderfully funny moments as Karn and Thianna battle all manner of foes, including the undead and a really petulant dragon.

Story-wise, this is a bit of a “quest”-style fantasy adventure as Karn and Thianna fall foul of their enemies and are forced to run, across mostly frozen country, negotiating avalanches and natural disaster as well as wyvern attacks and zombie-like killers but, unlike many trilogies, the story “wraps” in a satisfying way, so you’re not left finding yourself mid-story on the last page. Of course, there is more to come, and the threads for the follow up novels are finely woven into the whole: but they don’t detract from your enjoyment of this debut tale, in my view.

The fact that Lou has clearly spent so much time building the world of Norrøngard (and beyond) gives readers plenty more to enjoy beyond the story itself. As the story unfolds, revelations and hints at a deeper history to the conflict Karn and Thianna are embroiled in all help to enrich an enjoyable story.

This amazing map of the city of Bense from the novel Frostborn was created by Robert Lazzaretti of D&D and Pathfinder fame.

This amazing map of the city of Bense from the novel Frostborn was created by Robert Lazzaretti of D&D and Pathfinder fame.

Given this novel is aimed at a Young Adult audience, you won’t be surprised to learn that as well as the book itself, Frostborn is being launched not only with a US book tour (dates so far below) but a full-on social media promotional package (links below, too). The backing is well deserved. I’m looking forward to the TV series/ films, the game, the figurines… because I can see them coming!

Buy Thrones and Bones: Frostborn from amazon.com
Additional Links

• Official web site: www.thronesandbones.com

• Lou Anders Official Site: www.louanders.com

• Thrones & Bones Tumblr

• Thrones & Bones is on Twitter at @ThronesandBones

Lou Anders on Tour

Saturday August 09, 2014 4:00 PM
The Official Launch: Barnes and Noble Reading/Signing
Barnes and Noble @ The Summit Birmingham
Summit Shopping Center, 201 Summit Boulevard Suite 100, Birmingham, AL 35243
Tel: 205-298-0665

Thursday August 29 – Monday September 1, 2014
DragonCon
Atlanta, Georgia
Panel Appearances and Signing at The Missing Volume
Exact date and time of signing TBD

Wednesday September 03, 2014 5:30 PM
Barnes and Noble Reading/Signing
Crossroads Commons
2999 Pearl Street, Boulder, CO 80301
Tel: 303-444-0349

Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 6:30 PM
Young Authors Program
Forsyth County, Georgia
Event and location details forthcoming
Thursday, September 18, 2014 7:00 PM
Books-a-Million
757 Brookwood Village, Birmingham, AL 35209
Tel: 205-870-0213

Saturday, September 27, 2014
Tweens Read Book Festival
South Houston High School
3820 Shaver St, South Houston, TX 77587
Tel: 713-740-0350

Friday-Sunday, November 14-16, 2014
Windycon 41*
Westin Lombard Yorktown Center
70 Yorktown Shopping Center, Lombard, IL 60148
Tel: 630-719-8000

* Not a Frostborn-specific event. Lou is Editor Guest of Honor, but will happily sign books.

Additional dates in other cities are being added. I’ll update this list as they are confirmed.

Editor, writer, curmudgeon and founder of downthetubes, John currently works for audio comics publisher ROK Comics as an editor and writer. He's worked in British comics publishing for over 25 years, starting out at Marvel UK. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine, Star Wars Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He edited a number of Marvel's "Genesis 1992" books with Paul Neary, including Death's Head II and Warheads; and STRIP Magazine for Print Media Productions. As a freelancer, he has written comics for Marvel UK, Judge Dredd Megazine, Lucky Bag Comic, CGL (an Italian publisher), STRIP Magazine and ROK Comics; and edited some of Titan's British comics collections including Dan Dare and Charley's War. Most recently he is writing "Crucible" as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and "Death Duty" with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.
2 Comments on this post.
  • Ian Cullen
    6 August 2014 at 7:03 pm -

    Sounds interesting.

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