Daughter of the Wind

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Historical adventure story that takes place in medieval Scandinavia.

Hallgerd is the 17 year-old daughter of the Norwegian village leader. A group of Danes, acting under the orders of a powerful, warring-king's daughter, kidnap her and intend to marry her to this noblewoman's son. After a sympathetic young Dane helps her to escape, Hallegerd avenges her kidnapping by setting fire to the town and steals a small rowboat. As she is rowing through the marsh, she meets Gauk, a young ...

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Overview

Historical adventure story that takes place in medieval Scandinavia.

Hallgerd is the 17 year-old daughter of the Norwegian village leader. A group of Danes, acting under the orders of a powerful, warring-king's daughter, kidnap her and intend to marry her to this noblewoman's son. After a sympathetic young Dane helps her to escape, Hallegerd avenges her kidnapping by setting fire to the town and steals a small rowboat. As she is rowing through the marsh, she meets Gauk, a young hunter, along with a young blacksmith from Hallegerd's village who has come to rescue her.

In medieval times as various groups of Vikings fight for supremacy of the northern lands and waters, Hallgerd, Gauk, and Hego, three young people from the quiet coastal village of Spjothof, find their fates intertwined as a series of events take them into danger far from home.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although readers will enjoy the sensation of being swept to another time and place in this thrill-a-minute historical drama, they may have trouble staying on course as Cadnum (In a Dark Wood; The Book of the Lion) leads them through ancient Nordic coastal villages. Clunkily weaving together two stories-that of Hallgerd, a rich jarl's daughter kidnapped by Danes, and that of fellow villager and bear hunter, Gauk-the author introduces an onslaught of minor characters and events. It is clear that the paths of the young heroine and hero are destined to cross, but the plot's continually shifting focus grows burdensome. Adventure buffs may be enthralled by some action-packed scenes (e.g., Gauk kills his first bear; Hallgerd makes a daring escape from her captors). However, the plot seems to advance from one scene of bloodshed to the next, and these become almost run-of-the mill. While it sheds light on Nordic customs, rituals, beliefs and the value placed on heroism and loyalty, the narrative lacks the humor and multidimensional characterizations that the author's fans have come to expect. Ages 12-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
In the early morning hours, Danish marauders enter the Viking town of Spjothof and kidnap Hallgerd the daughter of the town's leader. She is carried off to a Danish stronghold to be married to the son of the noblewoman Arnbjorg in order to form an alliance to protect Danish settlements from Viking plunder. While this is happening, far away on an ice flow, Gauck, a young man who has yet to prove himself as a warrior battles a ferocious bear, slaying him and winning his coveted pelt. He returns to the town to sing his praises as a berserker—a warrior easily provoked to revenge—to find his town burning and its leader gravely wounded. With the help of Hego, a shepherd, Gauck vows to battle with the Danes and return the maiden. In the land of the Danes, Hellgerd bravely stands up to her captors and with the assistance of a Thrand, a warrior who has fallen in love with her, she makes her escape. Hellgerd and Gauck's fate become intertwined as the two use their wit and cunning to outrun their pursuers and make it back to the safety of their Viking family and friends. There is action, gory bloodshed, suspense, and sexual innuendo in this exciting adventure. The customs and lifestyle of the Vikings are easily melded into the narrative and there is much emphasis on the role of storytelling and song in Viking culture. The spirit of Odin and Thor resonate through the novel as the heroes invoke them to be their strength in battle. It is difficult to wrap one's tongue around the Norse words and no pronunciation guide is provided. Until Gauck and Hellgerd meet, about three-quarters of the way through the book, their stories are told in parallel chapters that do slow down the action rather thanheighten the suspense. This is, however, a well-told tale of friendship and family loyalty with a hesitant hero and feisty heroine. 2003, Viking,
— Beverley Fahey
KLIATT
Cadnum has written many YA novels; this one is set in the time of the Vikings and tells several parallel stories, all culminating in the kidnapping and rescue of the daughter of a chieftain. Hallgerd is a courageous beauty who is taken by a war party sent from a rival tribe-sometimes this was the method of arranging marriages that would unite competing clans. Two young hunters from her village have gone out on a bear hunt in a story that begins the novel. The bear kills one of the young men; the other eventually kills the bear and becomes a berserkir-an interesting entomological lesson. The story is one of heroic acts, of journeys in the northern seas, of ideals of honor and justice. But, like most of Cadnum's work, the story takes some extra work on the part of American teenagers: the narration isn't straightforward, the setting is foreign and strange to modern readers, the historical context unknown. Those YA readers who will persevere will be rewarded by an excellent story, and the cover art is compelling. KLIATT Codes: JS-Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, Scholastic, Orchard, 266p., Ages 12 to 18.
— Claire Rosser
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-An exciting tale of three young people striving to discover who they are and what the future holds for them, set in the rough, brutal world of the Vikings. Hallgerd dreams of marrying Lismod, the protagonist in Cadnum's Raven of the Waves (Orchard, 2001). This beautiful young woman, whose father is the jarl of their Norwegian village, is captured in a raid by Danes intent on bringing her back to their village as a bride prize for the grandson of their leader. Gauk feels the spirit of a bear enter him after he slays the beast who has killed his friend. As he skins the animal and throws its mighty pelt over his shoulders, he realizes that Odin has accepted him as a berserker, a warrior feared by everyone. Finally there is Hego, whose ways are slow and deliberate. When he sees Hallgerd captured, he follows the Danes as they carry her off and attempts unsuccessfully to rescue her. The stories of these three characters come together in the book's dramatic climax. Though Hallgerd's escape from the Danes happens coincidentally at exactly the moment that Gauk and Hego arrive to rescue her, the story is still gripping, and full of graphic scenes of violence, which may be unpleasant reading for some. Yet it is Cadnum's glimpses of everyday life and the stirring sagas that bring the inner world of these Northern people to life. A welcome addition to the growing list of historical fiction about the early Vikings.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439352246
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2003
  • Edition description: First Scholastic Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 266
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 1020L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 8.62 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2005

    What a great book!!!!

    i thougth this book was awesome!!!! It took me abot 2 minutes to get wrapped into it. I never stopped reading it. It took me like 2 hours!!!! I wonder if there's a 2nd 1???

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2004

    A Good Book

    I thought this book had many ups and downs to it, and the author tried very hard to keep it interesting, maybe a little too hard. I couldn't see this book becoming a bestseller or anything it's not that good but I enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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