Haugnes has obviously done extensive research on the Vikings, and she doesn’t skimp on the gory realities of living in the Middle Ages. There are bloody battles (which quite literally send heads flying), voyages full of raping and pillaging, and frequent deaths: Freydis loses a beloved brother in battle and her newborn second son to the sea during a violent storm. Haugnes also ably portrays the dissent fomented when Christianity was first introduced to the Viking population.
As Haugnes ably spins her tale, she paints vivid word pictures (“the murmur from the mountains sounds like harp music, the stream gurgles merrily and the wind sings along”) that easily transport readers to the Greenland of more than 1,000 years ago. The scenes of passion are vivid and erotic. Readers who enjoy Norse mythology, strong heroines, and romantic passion won’t be able to put down this delightful, fast-paced story.
Takeaway: This impeccably researched and expertly plotted tale will give fans of Viking sagas a vibrant heroine to love.
Great for fans of Morgan Llywelyn’s Grania: She-King of the Irish Seas, Catherine Coulter’s Season of the Sun.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: B+