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4.5 6
by Paul E. Horsman

Muus is only a thrall, a chattel without rights, but he knows the small, blue shard he picked up belongs to him alone. His commonsense saves their lives from cold and starvation.

Kjelle, heir to the Lord of a rich mininghold, is spoiled, and covetous of his thrall's tantalizing find. His greed causes an avalanche that leaves both young men marooned on an icy


Muus is only a thrall, a chattel without rights, but he knows the small, blue shard he picked up belongs to him alone. His commonsense saves their lives from cold and starvation.

Kjelle, heir to the Lord of a rich mininghold, is spoiled, and covetous of his thrall's tantalizing find. His greed causes an avalanche that leaves both young men marooned on an icy mountain slope.

Birthe, young wisewoman and huntress, mother of baby boy Búi, is brave and clever. She knows her way through the snowy wilderness of the Norden and her songs are filled with magic.

Now they are bound together on a danger-laden journey to a lost and burning land, where Muus needs to connect the skyshard to the Kalmanir, the standing stone that is the world’s fount of all magic. The Kalmanir's time is almost up and it urgently needs to be replenished before the magic of Gods and men runs out. The two boys have to learn to trust each other, for all around them, enemies abound. Rebels threaten both the kingdom and Kjelle's holding, and a tribe of mad idolaters is trying to recall the banned primordial Old Gods. Even more imminent is Muus' danger, for it comes from nearby, from the shard itself.

An action-packed adventure in a snowy land full of betrayal, rebellion and danger.

Product Details

Paul E. Horsman
Publication date:
Shardheld Saga , #1
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File size:
777 KB
Age Range:
13 Years

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Meet the Author

Paul E. Horsman (1952) is a Dutch and International Fantasy Author. Born in the sleepy garden village of Bussum, The Netherlands, he now lives in Roosendaal, a town on the Dutch border with Belgium. He has been a soldier, salesman, scoutmaster and from 1995 teacher of Dutch as a Second Language to refugees from all over the globe. Since 2012, he is a full-time writer of epic light fantasy adventures. His works have been both trade published in The Netherlands, and self-published internationally.

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Shardfall 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite Shardfall: The Shardheld Saga (Volume 1) by Paul E. Horsman is the story of two men, Muus and Kjelle, who are trapped in an avalanche which leaves them stranded on the icy mountain slopes, fighting cold and starvation. Kjelle knows about the small blue shard picked up by Muus. Muus has to now connect that skyshard to the Kalmanir, a standing stone which is the world's fount of all magic. In trying times when they are surrounded by only enemies, Muus and Kjelle become friends and learn to trust each other. They have to reach the Kalmanir to replenish before its magic dies. Will they be able to do it? The story takes us through a tough journey in a snowy land. The four main characters, Muus, Kjelle, Tuuri and Birthe with her baby boy Bui, form an integral part of the story. Apart from undergoing this journey, it is also a journey into themselves, which makes them realize about their true selves. The antagonism between Muus and Kjelle and the realization that they need to help each other for survival is interesting to read. The story captures the starkness and harshness of the biting cold. The discovery of the blue light adds to the magic appeal of the book. Like any fantasy story, this book also enthralls its readers with adventure, intrigue, whimsy, and suspense. The historical setting, Norse mythology, and magic have been woven into the story with great expertise. The story line is clear and the scenes are described with clarity, which makes it vivid and colorful.
westkayla1221 More than 1 year ago
When a strange stone seems to fall from the sky and lands at the top of the Silfjall mountain near Eidungruve Hold, it sets a string of events in motion that could change lives forever. Muus is a thrall, a lowly companion to Prince Kjelle. Captured and brought to live with the Nords as a boy, he has a past he cannot remember and so must deal with the fate life has dealt him. But fate has more in store for him than he realizes. When the prince is called by his father to investigate the matter of the strange stone at the top of the mountain, he has Muus come with him. When they arrive at the sight of the landing, Muus' courage in the face of the unknown causes him to pick up the stone, causing the stone to choose him for a destiny that will take him back to his home. His true home. The home he was taken from and now barely remembers. Throughout his journey, he is going to learn more about himself, the legend of this stone he now holds, and the magic buried deep within. I quite enjoyed this book. Fantasy is a genre that I absolutely believe can take your breath away, if done right. This book had very vivid scenes, and I love the storyline. It seemed a quick read to me once I got about a chapter or so in, and I couldn't put it down. Will absolutely read the second book to this series, and also am anxiously awaiting the release of the third book. Wonderful start to this series.
NikiMattes More than 1 year ago
Shardfall is playing in a Viking like time where you meet Muus and Kjelle, in an adventure. They climb on the mountain to find out the source of the blue light, when a avalance hit them. They are totally on their own and need to find a way to survive and to work together to safe their town. I loved Birthe, a young widow with a baby, Very strong and smart. This is a book full with Norse mythology. fantasy and magic. Written in a fast past. I loved every second of it and can't wait for the next.
RIA_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Shardfall is the first book in The Shardheld Saga. Sometimes with a first book the kinks are still getting worked out, but I didn’t find that problem at all with Shardfall. I was interested immediately, and I thought the book was very well written. The characters are engaging, the scenery explained well, and the plot exciting. The book centers around four main characters, with plenty of secondary characters throughout. I was invested in each of these characters and how everything would turn out for them. I enjoyed Muus in all of his strength. I started out disliking Kjelle, but I loved the growth he went through in this book. Birthe is a bit in your face, which I really enjoyed. Tuuri is a character that I assume we’ll learn more about later. He is the only character that I didn’t completely connect with, but that may be because I was so distracted by Muus, Kjelle, and Birthe’s adventure. There were also many secondary characters that I loved, especially Hraab. I have read some fantasy books, and while they all tend to center around some type of journey, I found Shardfall to possess plenty of aspects that made it very original. I enjoyed getting to know all the characters and following along on their adventure. I loved the magic, the gods, and the interesting glimpse into the society’s hierarchy. I think that lovers of fantasy will enjoy reading this book. I can’t wait to read the next one.  I received an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.
MaryAnn_Koopmann More than 1 year ago
I liked his writing style which flowed easily and shared a great deal of information in a concise form. I'd read more books from this author on related topics. This is a very well written book, enjoyable to read, yet light. What I think makes this book so effective is the way the writing style perfectly captures the tone of the philosophy he is trying to portray. If you have read it, but have let the wisdom lapse then get another copy. You may be surprised and delighted by the motivations it brings out. Read this, and read it again. The language is so precise and nuanced. It was a pleasure to read. It was a memorable adventure. A beautiful book, and I've given copies to all my close friends.
Amaranthae More than 1 year ago
This is the Author’s debut novel, and the first in The Shardheld Sage series. The saga is set back in history during the time of the Norsemen, and is very well researched.  As the reader progresses through the pages they receive a glimpse of life as it was, not only for the Norsemen themselves, but also for the poor souls they captured and used as slaves.  But don’t think that this is just a historical novel, as it’s not; it is so much more than that. As this is the first in the series, the character development takes it time and no one character takes the foreground as being the main lead throughout this book.  Each comes into focus, and then drops back for a while to give the other a chance at the limelight.  I felt this worked well as it served as a ‘hook’ into the rest of the series.  It made me feel as if I want to read the rest of the saga to find out where the development of the characters would lead, and who would come out on top.  The part of the chattel, and again I can’t go into too much detail without revealing spoilers, is written beautifully and you can feel the anger and resentment that this person has for their master as well as others he interacts with who try to show some kindness. His bitterness, and also loss of self, engulf his every moment in this novel and, I was sure when I started reading that he would be the main lead.  His master also features strongly in this first book, and is not the stereotypical Norse Man of history.  He is weak, self-centred and, I have to say this, a downright coward; the kind of person who you just want to shake.  However, the Author explains the reasoning why he is like this, rather than leaving us guessing and hoping it would all be explained in later books.  This makes me want to read on and see will his character develop to become the type of Viking his Father can be proud of, or will he return to his habits of old. The world inhabited by these characters is well written and descriptive; you can feel the cold of the biting wind and hearing it howling when it blows and your arms ache from the everyday tasks to keep the town alive.  It’s not only a well written book from the visually descriptive angle, it also assaults your nostrils as well, which is not an easy thing to do when placing words on paper but, the Author manages to do this without effort and it adds to the well created medieval fantasy this book is. My only criticism about this book was there were some sloppy grammatical errors that a diligent proof-reader should have picked up on, if not a good editor.  Although they did not detract from the plot in any way, the repetition of some words back to back (the the, for example) eventually became irritating, and is the reasoning behind my rating this book as I have.  Having said this, I would like to read the remaining books in the saga, as they are published, just to satisfy my curiosity as to how things will pan out. I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a quick and enjoyable read, as it’s only 142 pages in length, but it will also appeal to lovers of the sci-fi and fantasy genres, plus readers looking for something a little different in the Norse and Viking arena.