So, yeah, I may or may not have reviewed one or two of Lee’s books here. (Spoiler, definitely did, and more than 2). This time I’m looking at one of her series, or maybe it’s two series, or one total series with two branches. Enh, doesn’t really matter how it’s classified, it’s all about Berserkers anyway.
Way back when, the Vikings had berserker warriors. When these guys went into battle, they were in a kind of trance. They would go into battle without any kind of armor and no one was safe from them and their frenzied fury. There are stories in the various sagas of the berserkers turning into animals during the battle.
Lee has taken the stories and legends of the berserker warriors and turned it into a great set of paranormal romances.
Here’s the basic story. Many years ago, a Viking king wanted to have the best warriors possible. To do that, he had a witch cast a spell over some of his men. The spell that she cast over them turned them into wolves. They also ended up with a 3rd form, the beast. The beast is the berserker form of the Berserkers. When they are in that form, they will rage and kill everyone and everything that is in their view. As they get older, it’s easier for them to fall into being the beast. In order to fight the beast as much as possible, the Berserkers have formed warrior bonds to each other as pairs, inside the larger bonds of the pack. As a pack, they are all connected to each other and they can talk to each other inside their heads. Warriors who have bonded as brothers have a deeper bond and can talk to each other in their heads.
The Berserkers were given information by a witch that if they found a mate, they would be able to control the beast. They were also told what women to look for. The women are called spaewives.
For grins and giggles, I looked up the word spaewives as I was writing this. I wondered if Lee made up the word or not. The word is real, it comes from Scotland and primarily means a prophetess, witch, or fortune teller. Lee also describes them as hedge witches, so that works out well. Makes sense that it comes from Scotland since the stories take place in Alba, which is ancient Scotland.
At the beginning of the Berserker Saga, there are 2 packs. Each pack is ruled by bonded pair of warriors, who are the Alphas. One of the pair is more Alpha than the other. One pack is lead by Samuel and Daegan and the other is ruled by Ragnvald and Maddox. Protip: Hit that link and read the whole saga all at once because there are also bonus extras in it.
The spaewives in the first 5 books are a set of sisters. Brenna, Sabine, Muriel, and Fleur. The sisters have their books in that order. Brenna was attacked by a wolf years before and cannot really speak. Sabine has some skill as a healer. Muriel and Fleur are twin sisters.
Alright, each sister gets their mate, but that leaves a whole lot of Berserkers without any mates. Because their Alphas are under control, the rest of the pack are more under control, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need their own mates. Luckily, or maybe not quite so luckily, in Fleur’s story, a convent full of spaewives is found, and all the Berserkers go raid it to get their own mates, which leads to the Berserker Brides series.
In Fleur’s story, we get to find out about that convent because she is chased by the grey men who are minions of the Corpse King, the uber-bad guy. He has been taking the spaewives as necessary to power him up.
The Berserker Bride storyline is all about the various Berserkers getting their brides and fighting for them. Each story has its own HEA, but they are all connected together in a broader sense. I, personally, wouldn’t read any of these books as a stand-alone, and especially not the newest one, Berserker Babies, which is a small look into the lives of the sisters and where they are standing as the fight against the big bad progresses.
I would suggest that you go read them, starting with the box set and go through the Berserker Brides. They are all pretty quick, easy reads, with some seriously hot wolf shifters. The women are all very strong characters in their own right, and nothing causes that to change. They are still strong women even when they are submitting to their mates. The majority of the books are menages, with Fleur’s book having 3 guys, and the first Berserker Bride book only having 1. I reread them fairly often when I’m looking for something that is hot, quick, and dirty. So, go check them out!