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River of shadows (Book 1 Underworld Gods) By Karina Halle


River of Shadows is an adult dark fantasy romance based on Finnish mythology and the underworld of Tuonela.

When 24-year old Hanna Heikkinen’s estranged father dies, she reluctantly makes the trip to Northern Finland for his funeral. Being in the enchanting land of ice and snow feels miles away from Hanna’s busy life back in Los Angeles, especially under the complicated circumstances.

But when Hanna discovers that her father’s body is missing, that’s when things really get weird. A mysterious man, Rasmus, tells Hanna the truth: her father was a powerful shaman who went into Tuonela, the Realm of the Dead, in order to barter for more life, and has been held captive by Tuoni, the God of Death. The only way her father can be freed is if she travels with Rasmus into the mythical underworld to rescue him.

Willing to do anything to have a second-chance with her father, Hanna accompanies Rasmus into the dark and bloody realm, traveling via the River of Shadows, stalked by dangerous creatures, monsters, and the living dead, until they finally come into the haunted kingdom ruled by Death and his family.

Only for her to be captured and held prisoner by the God of Death himself.

Turns out Death is intrigued by Hanna’s beauty and fierceness and makes a bargain with her. If she marries him, and spends an eternity in the Realm of the Dead as his wife, he’ll set her father free.

But even the most noble sacrifices come with hidden costs, and Hanna’s might involve the most unexpected of all things: her heart.

Publication Date 30/1/2022

River of shadows (Book 1 Underworld Gods) By Karina Halle

My Review

A start to a new series by one of my favourite authors.

I do love a retelling of a classic, and this one reminds very much of Persephone and Hades. It’s based on a Finnish mythology story, but it’s not necessary to know about it before diving into this amazing book.

Death I found was a fascinating character, to everyone who knows him, he’s cold and calculating, being Death he has to be, but being around Hanna brings out more, a possessive but sort of caring (well he thinks of it as caring)

Hanna comes to Finland from Los Angeles to say goodby to her father. But finding out he’s not in the coffin, but being held in the Underworld (or Tuonela) by Death himself, Hanna is coerced into setting out to rescue him! Hanna a great character, a mixture of self assured and confused. She’s thrown into a world that she didn’t think existed, to a world of Gods and their evil and spiteful ways.

Being given the option to marry Death to set her father free, what would you do?

It’s beautifully written, and really well thought out. It’s a little gory at times, and a little strange, but totally engrossing, I picked the book up and didn’t put it down till it was done. Addition characters will have you either rooting for them, or wondering if they have an ulterior motive.

I was totally not expecting the cliffhanger, but I’m happy that we get more of Death and Hanna.

So if you like mythological stories and fantasy, then grab this book. You won’t regret it.


Published by jab1969

Hi I’m an avid reader. I also write reviews for the books I read. Come in and say hi. You can find me on GoodReads, Bookbub, and NetGalley 👩🏻‍💻 I also review on an awesome site The Reading Cafe (run by Barb and Sandy) Here is where you can find my reviews…. GoodReads: Blog: Amazon: Bookbub: BooksBooksandmoreBooks FB page: TikTok Instagram Twitter Link <img src=""

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