By the Mountain Bound
  • By the Mountain Bound
  • By the Mountain Bound

By the Mountain Bound

4.6 3
by Elizabeth Bear
     
 

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For five hundred years the immortal Children of the Light, einherjar and valkyrie, have lived together in the North of Valdyrgard. They were born out of the Sea, each with a shining crystal sword in his or her hand; they are Angels of Light created in the formation of a new world.  But three have come before them, from the death-throes of the old world,

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Overview

For five hundred years the immortal Children of the Light, einherjar and valkyrie, have lived together in the North of Valdyrgard. They were born out of the Sea, each with a shining crystal sword in his or her hand; they are Angels of Light created in the formation of a new world.  But three have come before them, from the death-throes of the old world, Midgard: the world-girdling Serpent, Bearer of Burdens;  the Wolf Fenris, eater of the Sun, who now takes the form of an einherjar; and his demon sister, stealer of souls.

The Children spend their days feasting, fighting, hunting, and guarding their human charges. But one dreadful day a woman is washed up from the sea, a Lady who is no mortal, though she is not valkyrie either. Thus begins the breaking of the Children of the Light, the tarnishing of their power, and the death of Valdyrgard.

By the Mountain Bound is a prequel to Elizabeth Bear’s highly acclaimed All the Windwracked Stars, and tells the painful tale of love and betrayal, sorcery and battle, that led up to the day when Muire was left alone in the snow at the end of the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for All the Windwracked Stars:

"Bear creates a world with an astonishing depth of mythology in a tale that begins with Ragnarok…Bear’s world building echoes the best of Zelazny and pulls the reader into the story and the history until it’s over. Muire is one of Bear’s more interesting and likable characters, and the mythology Bear deploys promises further satisfying stories based in it."—Booklist (starred review)

"Bear's ability to create breathtaking variations on ancient themes and make them new and brilliant is, perhaps, unparalleled in the genre.  Her lyrical style and heroically flawed characters make this a priority purchase for most libraries.  Highly recommended."—Library Journal (starred review)

Praise for By the Mountain Bound:

“Numerous fantasy authors adopt the tropes of Norse mythology, but Bear actively pursues them, channeling those myths directly rather than overlaying them on more familiar ones. The result demands much from readers, but repays it in vivid, sensual imagery of a wholly different world.”—Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly
In this complex prequel to Hugo-winner Bear's All the Windwracked Stars (2008), Ragnarok has already occurred, but the world must still be cleansed of the residue of the former realm. When immortal einherjar war-leader Strifbjorn rescues a strange woman from drowning, she claims to be the Lady, a long-awaited deity, and defeats Strifbjorn's champion and lover, Mingan the Gray Wolf, to take command. The ensuing internal power struggles set the einherjar at odds while the Lady attempts to rally the community against a supposedly imminent attack by giants. Numerous fantasy authors adopt the tropes of Norse mythology, but Bear actively pursues them, channeling those myths directly rather than overlaying them on more familiar ones. The result demands much from readers, but repays it in vivid, sensual imagery of a wholly different world. (Nov.)
Library Journal
After the fall of Midgard (the old world) the Children of Light—einherjar and valkyrie—share the halls of Valdyrgard until a Lady who washed up onto the shore spreads discord, signaling the end of 500 years of peace. This prequel to All the Windwracked Stars tells of a doomed love between Strifbjorn, the Warrior, and Mingan, the Fenris Wolf in human form. VERDICT Bear's skill at evoking the gravity and grandeur of Norse mythology and her talent for world building and characterization make this solemn tale a solid choice for mature readers and lovers of Scandinavian myth.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780765358523
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
08/31/2010
Series:
Edda of Burdens Series, #2
Pages:
318
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 0.90(d)

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