The Skald’s Black Verse – Review

Author – Jordan Loyal Short

Pages – 330

Format – Ebook


When a soldier’s murder sparks rebellion in the tiny village of Skolja, Brohr’s past marks him as the prime suspect. Haunted by his brother’s ghost, and drawn into a web of dark pacts and tangled loyalties, Brohr must choose between the path of vengeance set before him, and a chance to forge his own fate.

From the shadows, an all but extinct race of alien demigods have begun the end game of their millennia-spanning war, and one has chosen Brohr for his closing gambit.

But Brohr’s grandfather harbors a dark secret that will change everything.

Above it all, a dread portent looms in the sky, spelling the death of Brohr’s world. With doom spiraling toward them, Brohr must lead an unlikely rebellion, unearth disturbing family secrets, and tame the raging ghost that haunts him. Can Brohr lead his people out of darkness, or will he succumb to his own terrifying bloodlust, and destroy the very people he has sworn to save?


First up, thankyou to Jordan Loyal Short and Storytellers on Tour for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a review. It was something I actually had on my ‘want to read’ section on Goodreads but as most readers know, there’s no method to the madness of TBR lists and this gave me the push needed to get around to it.

You’d be forgiven for expecting this to be a standard Nordic fantasy based on the title but there’s quite a mix of fantasy and sci-fi with future meets past elements to the plot that is pretty cool with the local Norns having that medieval and Nordic feel whilst the Tyrianites have a very Roman essence whilst also bringing the sci-fi factor as the interstellar conquerors.

My favourite aspect of the story is Brohr’s and the underlying brutal force he can wield through his brother and how this determines events throughout. The first scene in the prologue sets up this relationship and I actually found it difficult to read, it was that dark. Allow this to serve as a trigger warning for infant death at birth. This prologue however sets the tone for the rest of the book; you are under no illusions as to what type of fantasy this is.

There are two other predominant POVs but I have to say that Brohr’s was the most enjoyable. I felt this dark force within him was brilliantly done and epitomised the excitement and barrage of action that flows through the book.


This is a good quality self published fantasy/sci-fi with dark themes, scary creatures, interesting forces of magic and spaceships. I think it might be the first book I’ve read that comes closest to being described by my blog name, Spells and Spaceships!

Tune in tomorrow when you can get more reviews from Fanfiaddict, Jake is Reading and The Bookwyrm’s Guide to the Galaxy!

Jordan Loyal Short is an author of epic fantasy and a small business owner. He has worked in a variety of industries, as a waiter, bartender, copywriter and more. He lives in Washington state with his wife where he is currently daydreaming about the end of the world.
You can visit his webpage at


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