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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
New Zealand native Juliet Marillier makes a dramatic departure from her wildly popular Sevenwaters trilogy with the release of Wolfskin, a historical fantasy about a young Viking warrior and a sacred blood oath that he made as a child.
Growing up on a farm in Norway, Eyvind dreams of one day becoming an elite Wolfskin warrior like his brother Eirik. To be called a Wolfskin, the candidate must pass a type of vision quest in which he goes into the wilderness naked and weaponless and kills a wolf with his bare hands. Once this feat is accomplished, the warrior dedicates his life to the Almighty Warfather, Thor, and usually lives a short but gloriously bloody life as a berserker Viking raider.
But one summer, as Eyvind is training to become one of Thor's elite, he is forced to look after the younger half brother of Ulf, a popular and much-respected Wolfskin. Somerled is a strange boy with deep-seated psychological problems. Feeling pity for the outsider, Eyvind reluctantly befriends him and soon realizes that although Somerled is emotionally damaged, he is also a master strategist and has big ambitions, which include ultimately becoming a king.
Simply put: Fans of historical fantasy -- especially stories dealing with the British Isles -- will enjoy Wolfskin as much as, if not more, than Marillier's popular Sevenwaters novels. A master storyteller and an expert on folklore and mythology, Juliet Marillier can be compared to a young Marion Zimmer Bradley -- especially in her consistent use of strong female characters. Paul Goat Allen