Errant Gods

When the gods become serial killers, do mortals stand a chance? One broken man must fight the impossible to save mankind.

2018 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards Fantasy Silver Medalist
“If you like the writing of Stephen King, then read Errant Gods.” (Readers’ Favorite)

Hank Jensen is cursed with a broken body. Once he was New York's most dedicated criminal profiler, but the demonic Bristol Butchers crushed his career and left him disabled and hopeless. As he struggles to make sense of his new life, the cannibalistic immortals have returned with a new target: Hank's family…

Thrown into a breakneck race to rescue his loved ones, Hank has no choice but to enter an unrecognizable world of Norse gods. With lingering injuries and crippling doubts, he must overcome a land of dragons and shapechangers to defeat pure evil. Can a mere mortal outwit the gods to save his family, or will his quest end in fire and ash?

Errant Gods is the first book in the epic Blood of the Isir genre-blending, dark fantasy series. If you like terrifying evil, mythical worlds, and a hero facing impossible odds, then you'll love Erik Henry Vick's imaginative saga.

Buy Errant Gods to step into a savage world of gods today!

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critics reviews

Comparable to Stephen King’s [Dark Tower series]...

“...(which is referenced in the novel) in terms of genre-blending originality and sheer creative courage, Vick’s latest is a page-turning storytelling tour de force.”

- Blueink Review

An audacious novel...

“...with a hero that braves both mythical creatures and a disability.”

- Kirkus Reviews

2018 Readers' Favorite Award Fantasy Silver Medalist

[Vick delivers] a narrative that’s both original and highly entertaining

“…by tapping into the rich literary vein of Viking myth and folklore [Vick delivers] a narrative that’s both original and highly entertaining, but it’s in protagonist Hank Jensen that Vick really hits his home run.”

- BookViral

"He captures us with his talent, weaving his tales around the tendrils of our imaginations, creating the perfect environment to lose yourself among his characters and their worlds."

This is the best and most interesting one by far.

"I've read a LOT of fantasy books and I believe that this is the best and most interesting one by far."

I was genuinely scared

"There were times I laughed, times I wanted to cry, and times I was genuinely scared while reading this book."

So well written

"I love how it involves Norse mythology, dragons, dwarfs, and some really dark fantasy and horror. So well written and just keeps you hooked by how fast it moves. It is wicked fun to read and can’t wait until the next book. So great!"

Hook me

"It's been a long time since I have had a book hook me like this one."

You will like this.

"If you like Stephen King's Gunslinger, you will like this."

Action filled romp.

"This was an action filled romp. I could tell the author loved writing it."

Cross between Stephen King' s Dark Tower series and J. R. R. Tolkien

"If you are looking for an epic tale that is a cross between Stephen King' s Dark Tower series and J. R. R. Tolkien, then look no further!"

Excellent storyline, fantastic characters. Booklover's masterpiece.

"Will be one of my top five books for a long time."

"C.S. Lewis meets Stephen King."

I found myself actually liking this wonderful book even more

"Yes, this is reminiscent of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, but I found myself actually liking this wonderful book even more than I enjoyed that series."

Traveling tale of epic proportions.

"Great genre blending multiverse traveling tale of epic proportions."

ONE

Thou art mad now, Loki, and reft of mind, —
Why, Loki, leav'st thou not off?
Frigg, methinks, is wise in all fates,
Though herself say them not!

—The Gylfaginning

Hunger.

The woman who called herself Liz, despite being named something else, slammed the stainless-steel freezer door and glared at it. The freezer was empty, and she was hungry. Behind her on the worn futon, Luka fidgeted like a small child waiting for punishment. It made her want to choke him.

“We are out of meat. Again.” Liz ran her hand through her long blonde hair, trying to force it into some kind of order. She hated looking like a tatterdemalion in front of any man, but even more so in front of Luka. “How long do you expect me to go without? You promised to take care of me, Luka.”

“I-I’m…I’m s-sorry, my Queen.”

She sneered at the weakness in his voice. “Who sits before me? Surely this petulant child is not Luka Oolfhyethidn, feared by so many back home?”

“My Queen, I—”

She whirled to face him, biting back the words that danced on her tongue. Ire coursed through her veins like lava—hot and fierce—and a part of her wanted desperately to let those words fly. “Just stop it, Luka!” she screamed instead. “Stop sitting there acting like that puny little cop beat us! I can’t stand to be in the same room as you!”

Luka looked her in the eye for the first time in what felt like an eon. “I wanted to kill him at the end. You forbade me.”

Passion burned in his pale green eyes, and she reveled in waking him up again at last. The words she didn’t want to say kicked at the back of her teeth like a child having a temper tantrum. She had to say something, or she knew those words in the Gamla Toonkumowl—the language of the old ones—would worm their way out. “Who the fuck are you to question me?”

Luka smiled crookedly. “You have embraced cursing in this language, at last, my Queen.”

Her anger cooled at once. She had always been labile, but this was something else. Luka knew her so well after all these years in relative isolation. Part of her detested how well he knew her and that his arguments and tactics could sway her thinking. It was the same part of her that wanted to let those words fly—and she fought to suppress that part of herself. “Indeed, it seems I have,” she muttered.

Luka’s passion faded. As it did, he seemed to deflate, to become less of a man. Her expression hardened, and she sneered at him. “Do you think I asked you, out of all of my courtiers, to accompany me here because I like weak little boys?”

He grinned, but his expression was sour, bitter. He didn’t meet her gaze. “I never understood why, my Queen. I just delighted in it.”

“After everything you did for me back home? After going to war, even against your own brothers, for me? After killing with such ruthless abandon anyone who stood in my way or who threatened me? How can you not understand, my Luka? After all the things you did, my Champion, this was your reward.” She waved her hand down her tall, lean form. With a wide smile, she watched his eyes follow the course of her hand. Their present circumstances had made her thin with brutal efficiency, but she was still beautiful.

The wind outside shrieked, flinging snow at the window of their tiny, one-room apartment. The blizzard had come at the worst possible time. He couldn’t hunt in this. It wasn’t his fault, she knew that.

But it is his fault, insisted a voice buried in the back of her mind.

Her neighbors in Ontario County would have called it a “white Christmas.” She scoffed at the thought. She still didn’t understand the point of the holiday—even after all the years she’d spent in this wretched country.

Luka reached into the large side pockets of his black cargo pants and pulled out a foil-wrapped parcel. “Take this, my Queen,” he said, holding it out. “I was saving it in case you didn’t have enough.” He peeled back the foil to show her a piece of meat that was seared just enough to keep its juices inside.

She looked at his emaciated face. He had always put her needs before his own. “You eat it, Luka.”

He shook his head. “No, my Queen. I’m not hungry.”

“You are so thin, dear one.”

“No, my Queen. I am fine. You need this more than I do.”

Saliva sluiced into her mouth like spring runoff overflowing the banks of a creek. “The girl was very tasty, wasn’t she?” Liz mused.

“Yes, my Queen. I was lucky to find someone so healthy in such a shitty little bar. Usually, they are drunks or worse, but she was young and fresh.”

She eyed the package and then tore her eyes away. “You are sure you’ve had enough?”

Luka swallowed and nodded. “Yes, my Queen. You eat it. I am full.”

He was lying, of course. It only took one look at him—bony, haggard, almost cadaverous, in truth—to see that he needed the meat. She understood his loyalty, his fealty; it was as it should be, after all. In her own way, she loved and honored him, too, and regretted that circumstance and his devotion to her made him look like a man ravaged by a wasting illness.

At the same time, she was hungry. She shrugged and reached for the meat. “If you are sure, my Champion.”

“I am sure, my Queen,” he said, avoiding her gaze.

“Thou art mad now, Luka, and reft of mind,” she whispered, and he winced.

As she ate, her eyes drifted around the little efficiency with forced indolence, lingering on all the things she detested about the place: the peeling, atrocious wallpaper; the stained carpeting; the unstable kitchen table; the broken television—all of it. She forced herself to swallow. “This place…” She pursed her lips, then lifted her arms out from her sides and let them fall, unable to find English words strong enough to express the depths of her hatred for their present state of affairs. “Thath tyerir mik lankar til ath tayia.”

He looked at her, the small smile at hearing the ancient language dying stillborn on his lips as the meaning of the words sank in. “Please don’t say that, your Grace.” Luka’s eyes darted around the room. “This place is beneath you, I know. But it’s temporary, my Queen. We can pack and leave tonight. Or we can just leave. We can go somewhere else, another state maybe. Or back to Scandinavia. You pick the place, my Queen, and I’ll make it happen.” His voice rang with some of the confidence and competence she had come to expect from him.

Her eyes locked on his. “You’ll make it happen? You promised to take care of me.” She waved her hand at the room around them. “Is this taking care of me?”

He withered under her scrutiny, and his gaze slithered away from hers.

“Don’t you look away from me,” she snapped, mounting fury pounding its staccato rhythm in her temples.

He snapped his head up as if she had slapped him and met her gaze. “I’m…I’m sorry, my Queen. For all of it. This…this place…” He shook his head, looking lost and helpless. “I’ve allowed myself to grow soft. Everything is so easy here. It was—”

Like some wild beast, anger leapt into her mind, jaws snapping, saliva flying. You’ve grown soft? It was too easy? For these…reasons…I go hungry? Her voice boomed, filling the small apartment with her fury. Her breath tore air from the room in ragged gasps. She had to clamp her teeth together to keep from spitting out the words that would scorch Luka like a blistering green fire.

After a single glance at her expression, Luka snapped his mouth shut. He leaned toward her, a seated bow. “No excuses, my Queen. I will go out. The storm isn’t as bad as it sounds. Even if it is, what’s the worst it can do to me? Make me shiver?”

She shook her head, fury singing its slippery, dangerous song in her blood.

“I can find someone doing some last-minute shopping. I can be quick. I’ll be back inside an hour, and the freezer will be full.”

The rage-monster departed in an instant. The struggle to keep those words inside had burned the temper out of her, leaving her exhausted and downtrodden. “No, Luka,” she said, shaking her head. “We’ve hunted too much in this town built from dirty snow and rust. We can’t risk further exposure. We are still too close to Ontario County. And despite what you did to him, despite the curse I laid on him, that damn cop survives.”

“I should have killed him,” said Luka with a trace of the bloodthirsty fire he was known for. “I would have killed him, but you said you wanted him to suffer.”

She glowered at him. “I did, and I still do.” Her tone was biting, glacial, and bitter. “He was impolite. He demanded answers from me. He was so…familiar with me.” Liz crossed her arms and suppressed a smile as Luka’s eyes darted down for a peek at her breasts. “Too many hunts in one place will lead him to our door again. He still has friends. And seven years of running or not, we are still on his mind.

“Anyway, it’s not as if you leave no marks.” Her smile was fierce, almost savage, and she quirked her eyebrow at him.

He blushed and looked away like a school boy.

She loved the way he feigned such innocence around her.

Luka cleared his throat. “Then I can go back to the abattoir. I’m sure they didn’t find everything.”

“No. I just said we can’t risk further exposure. That meat was lost to us the moment those two boys found the cave. We can only go back there once, and for one purpose only.”

A panicked expression writhed across his face. “I can still take care of you if you’ll give me another chance.”

“No. This isn’t working anymore.” She took three long strides across the length of their home and stood in front of him, giving him no choice but to look up at her. She could see how much this conversation distressed him. He’d grown used to being her sole companion. He’d hate going home, and he’d hate sharing her with the others.

Luka gulped like a fish on a hook. His hands fiddled in his lap as if he were conjuring up some clever argument. “Just…just don’t do anything rash, my Queen. Don’t give up on life. I couldn’t go on without you.” He touched her arm.

She lifted her hand and rested it on Luka’s tense shoulder. “It has been grand, this time we’ve shared,” she said, almost purring. “We’ve been here a long time, Luka. We have shared so much.”

She was surprised to find that she meant every word of it. They fit together, hand in glove. He knew how to please her. He knew how to calm her. He knew how to excite her. She stretched with unbridled lubriciousness, knowing he would resist what she had in mind. She’d always known she possessed the kind of power that made men want to do anything she asked of them, and she used every ounce of it now to twist his will to her own.

Luka’s mouth drew a brutal line over his chin, and his hands twitched to a slow stop in his lap.

“But…” she said. The word sounded flat and terrible in the small, ugly space.

Luka nodded, his mouth set in a grimace, his eyes downcast and wet.

“It is time to go home.” Her voice was firm but kind. Her fondness for Luka was evident in how she tried to manage her expression, her tone. It was evident in the fact that she hadn’t set him on fire, too.

His face collapsed, and he closed his eyes as if it were too much effort to look at her. He shrank in on himself. He opened his mouth, and she wondered if he was going to stand up to her at last. She almost hoped he would.

Luka knew many things—about her, about this silly country they’d lived in for far too long. She mourned the loss of the brash, confident man he’d been before that damn cop stuck his nose in. But above all else, Luka had always known his proper place. “Why, Luka, lea’vst thou not off?” she asked in a whisper.

His gaze fell, and he slid off the futon to kneel with a formal precision at her feet. “As you command, my Queen.”

“Take me home, Luka. Let’s run the Reknpokaprooin, side by side, hand in hand.”

A crafty expression stole across his face like a thief creeping through a window. “Before we go, my Queen, there is one more thing I think we should do.”

“Kill that cop?” A small, vicious smile played on the edges of Liz’s lips. “That could be fun.”

“Better than that, my Queen.” His grin was a master painter’s study of mischief. “I think we should invite two guests to travel with us. A young boy and his mother, perhaps?”

Liz looked at him with quizzical eyes. “Would he follow, do you think?”

Luka nodded. “Oh, yes, my Queen, he will follow. He’s already promised to chase me wherever I may go. Taking his family home with us will just make it more…fun.” His eyes twinkled with a good humor that was somehow savage. “What do you think, my Queen? Does it suit?”

Liz laughed. “Oh, excellent, Luka. Your wickedness inspires me.” She looked at him for a long moment. “For the fun you suggest, I’m willing to put up with this wretched place a little while longer.”

She offered him her hand with a smile and pulled him to his feet when he took it. Hand in hand, the two lovers walked to the futon couch and converted it into a bed. “Inspire me a bit more, my Champion,” she said.

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