Primal Fury: Trial of the Berserker, by Nöel Traver

The Book

Primal Fury
Series: Trial of the Berserker
Pages: 286
Age Group: Adult
Published on 6/16/2023
Publisher: Self-Published
Available on:


 A hive-like race of brutal abominations. A single warrior who wants nothing more than to become a legendary berserker. Can Orsin survive the brutal, solo Trial, kill one of the greatest threats his people have ever known, and emerge as the favoured warrior of his god?

Orsin wants nothing more than to pass The Trial and become a berserker. But to do that he must travel into the wilderness, completely alone, and do battle with the abominations that live in the tundra—a strange, constantly mutating species known only as the Herd. But when Orsin makes his way into that icy desert not everything is as he has been told it would be.

The Herd beasts don’t all act as he expects. Something strange is going on. The ancient enemy of his people is changing, evolving in new and dangerous ways. They are growing more canny and more deadly. But why?

As Orsin delves deeper and deeper into enemy territory, he slowly begins to discover new facets to old dangers, challenges that will threaten not only his life but also his sanity and possibly, his very soul. Can he slaughter enough enemies to pass his Trial, make it back alive, and become the legendary warrior he knows he can be?  

My Review

Primal Fury: Trial of the Berserker is a quite unique dark fantasy novel (I would say in the frontier with grimdark) written by Nöel Traver. A fast-paced book which follows the story of Orsin and his adopter brother Torben, part of a race of humanoid bears whose passage rite to the adulthood is done by a trial in the outside lands, fighting and testing their strength against the Herd, creatures that are plaguing the lands of the Fursja.

After some initial chapters that act as an introduction to the Fursja and their culture that seems inspired by the Nordic traditions, a cozier part that also includes the forge of their weapons, we are directly thrown into the trial of Orsin, and how he will have to survive in order to earn his spot as Berserker, fighting against the Herd. Shadowing him, and trying to protect him from the background is his brother Torben; still working on his own trial but always with an eye put on Orsin.
And it's on those encounters against the Herd creatures where Primal Fury shines the most. Creatures that are part horror and abominations, which try to kill the Fursja; each combat is absolutely stunning to read, told from a more visceral perspective, gory, with fury many times taking over the rationality from Orsin. A quest that escalates as Orsin gets possessed by the bloodlust.

A book that gives a lot of space to character development as the premise is relatively simple; however, the payoff is worth. Despite only having two characters in the spotlight, the bond that is formed between Orsin and Torben is well explored, the type of relationship you get with your closest friend; one that will take you to risk all for the other person.

Primal Fury: Trial of the Berserker is a great novel, which can be enjoyed if you are looking for something different, with non-anthropocentric characters, and which leaves many questions about the Herd open. It's brutal and gory, and I definitely recommend reading it if you like dark fantasy.

The Author/s

Nöel Traver

Nöel Traver

Self published epic fantasy author