Review: Cold from the North (Onyxborn Chronicle #1) by D.W. Ross

Rating: 8.0/10


Driven by the promise of an ancient prophecy which will bring the dark ways of an old god back to power and prominence, an army of invaders swarms Ogulf Harlsbane’s homeland slaughtering all those who oppose them.

Along with his people, Ogulf must seek refuge from this savage force. In his search of sanctuary, he is tasked with finding the one person who can put a stop to the onslaught.

Doing so will send him across lands and seas, have him and his closest friend navigate the intricacies of a civil war, and try to win the help of the princess fighting for her throne.

If he fails, darkness will prevail and the reign of the Onyxborn will begin.


Cold from the North is author D.W. Ross’ debut novel, and I was really impressed with it. The plot was was multifaceted and really intriguing, and I enjoyed the Nordic-style setting.

Cold from the North is a very plot-driven book, and there is a lot to like about the narrative. There are secret orders and dark secrets, a prophecy that promises to bring dark magic back to the world, magical weapons, a war on two fronts, and loads of family issues. This book certainly enough tension-creating elements to keep the storyline intriguing. The way all of the elements fit together made for a really well-rounded book to me, and it worked out really well in the end, too. The ending was perfect, as it did two things really well: it satisfied some of the points conflict while creating new one to look forward to in the next book. Overall, it was a really well-written plot all the way through.

Another great aspect of Cold from the North is its Nordic-style setting. I was originally attracted to this book by the cool-looking double-sided axe on the cover. From the names of people and cities, to the way the villages and clans are set up, the weapons, everything screams “Viking” to me, and that has always been a culture with which I have been enthralled. To me, the Norse aspect of the book added a layer of coolness to what was already a really interesting story.

I do want to note that, while I did enjoy the plot and how it was written, in my opinion the story could have used a little more ebb and flow. The pace felt plateaued at times, and that could have been helped by building on the already-intriguing storyline with a few more climactic events along the way. I also think there was room for a little more character development, which would have added some depth.

Overall, I really enjoyed Cold from the North. If I did not know this was Ross’ debut novel I would not have guessed by how well-written it is. The plot is the driving force of the story, and the author did a great job of building tension around a very interesting setting. Needless to say, this book gets my recommendation for fantasy readers, and I am very much looking forward to book 2 in the series which is tentatively scheduled for publication in Summer 2021.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. This review turned out great and feels very balanced. I havent scratched the Nordic/Viking/Axe Wielding itch yet, but would be willing to give this a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I am usually pretty happy with my reviews, but I am not sure about this one. I think it is a good book, though.


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