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Foxmask: Children of the Light Isles, Book Two
     

Foxmask: Children of the Light Isles, Book Two

4.7 15
by Juliet Marillier
 

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Foxmask is the second book of a fantasy duet from Juliet Marillier, weaving history and folklore into a saga of adventure, romance, and magic.

The Norseman Eyvind, a fierce and loyal Wolfskin, came to a new land on top of the world to find his destiny. With his priestess bride Nessa he saved the land and weathered the treachery that was caused by

Overview

Foxmask is the second book of a fantasy duet from Juliet Marillier, weaving history and folklore into a saga of adventure, romance, and magic.

The Norseman Eyvind, a fierce and loyal Wolfskin, came to a new land on top of the world to find his destiny. With his priestess bride Nessa he saved the land and weathered the treachery that was caused by Eyvind's blood-sworn friend Somerled. After much pain and sorrow the two lovers have managed to create a society where the Norse warriors and the gentle folks of the Orkney Isles live and thrive in contentment at last. A decade and more has passed since the devastating events of the creation of the settlement and Eyvind and Nessa have watched their children grow and thrive in peace.

But not all on the islands are content or at peace. Thorvald, the young son of Margaret, widow of the slain king and Eyvind's war leader, has always felt apart and at odds with all he knows. He learns upon his coming to manhood that he is not his father's son but that of the love that Margaret bore for the hated Somerled and that Somerled was not killed for his treachery but sent on a boat, adrift with little more than a knife and skein of water, doomed to the god's will. Thorvald is determined to find a boat and cast off to the West in a desperate bid to find a father he never knew...and to find out if he is made of the same stuff as the heinous traitor.

The tragedy of this scheme would be horrific enough...if it were not for the fact that Creidhe, the winsome daughter of Eyvind and Nessa has loved Thorvald since birth and unbeknownst to him conspires to go along on this most perilous of quests.

What happens to them on their journey of discovery will ultimately change the lives of all they know and love...and will doom (or redeem) an entire people.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
Foxmask, the continuation of Juliet Marillier's historical fantasy Wolfskin, chronicles a young man's quest to unlock the dark secrets of his past. Thorvald is a child of two cultures: His mother is Orkney; his father -- whom he never knew -- was a Norse warrior. When Thorvald learns of his father's exile from the Orkney Islands (located off the north coast of Scotland) almost 20 years earlier, he follows his trail northwest in hopes of somehow finding him.

In order to make the treacherous journey, Thorvald enlists the help of Sam, an experienced fisherman with the best boat on the islands. But soon after the two young adventurers set sail, they're almost killed when a savage storm batters their boat. And, to make matters worse, they find a stowaway -- none other than Creidhe, the beautiful daughter of the Orkney chieftain.

When the quickly sinking boat fatefully finds a string of desolate-looking islands, Thorvald comes closer to unlocking the questions of his past -- but that knowledge could mean the brutal murder of a peace-loving people.

Like Wolfskin, the first book in this duology, Foxmask is highly recommended for fans of historical fantasy -- especially stories dealing with the British Isles. In an interview with Explorations, Marillier described both novels as "coming-of-age tales" that are essentially about "human journeys and ordinary people finding their own extraordinary strengths."

Fantasy fans who enjoyed Marillier's bestselling Sevenwaters trilogy (Daughter of the Forest, Son of the Shadows, and Child of the Prophecy) should definitely give this two-book saga a try. Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
In this captivating historical fantasy, the sequel to Wolfskin (2003), Australian author Marillier sweeps the reader to Dark Age Britain's northernmost islands, where life is hard and opportunistic raiders have forced change on the peace-loving, magic-believing inhabitants. When 18-year-old Thorvald reads a letter from his unknown true father, Somerled, his world collapses. Somerled was exiled forever after slaying his chieftain brother, Ulf. Fearing that he may be subject to the same curse that afflicted his father ("I'm the son of some evil madman, a crazed killer"), Thorvald decides to search for the disgraced Somerled. He persuades his friend Sam the fisherman to transport him by boat to the island where he believes his father to be. Unbeknownst to both Sam and Thorvald, a young woman, Creidhe, stows away on the boat. Creidhe becomes a key player in the stirring events that unfold when they reach the Northern Isles. Though this artful mix of myth and magic starts out a bit slowly, the pace picks up nicely in the novel's second third and barrels onward to a rousing finish. Agent, Russell Galen. (Aug. 1) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Thorvald talks his friend, Sam, into setting sail to find his father. Creidhe hides in the boat, because she know that her friends will need her on their journey. After several weeks in the North Sea, they land on a Foroes Island between Norway and Iceland. The island is ruled by the evil Asgrim. Criedle stays with the women, while Sam and Thorvald go off with the menfolk to prepare for the Hunt on the Isle of Clouds. Then Criedle is kidnapped. Meanwhile, Asgrim's son had hidden the seer of the Unspoken tribe on the Isle of Clouds. They, too, are preparing for the Hunt. Near the Isle of the Clouds, Criedle escapes by jumping over the side of the kidnapper's boat and drowns. Marillier weaves a delightful adventure of lies, deceit, secrets, misunderstandings, and romance in this sequel to Wolfskin. Middle school and high school students will be standing in line for Foxmask. 2004, TOR, 464 pp., Ages young adult.
—Ruth Prescott
Library Journal
The Norseman Eyvind becomes a Wolfskin a Viking dedicated to Thor and travels to the mystical Orkney Islands, where he meets the Princess Nessa, a seer who becomes his soul mate. As Vikings and Orkney residents work out a peace, a new generation arises to forge strong ties. A question of paternity throws the delicate balance between the two peoples in jeopardy, and some young folk set out on a journey to discover the truth. The author of Wolfskin continues her exploration of the fusion of two cultures with strong family ties and great trust in powers beyond the merely human. For most fantasy collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sequel to Marillier's Wolfskin (2000), following the children of the previous novel's main characters. Thorvald, brought up by his widowed mother Margaret in the Orkneys, learns that his father is Somerled, an exiled murderer. Suddenly, his place in the half-Norse, half-Celtic community is in question; he decides to learn the truth about himself by going in quest of Somerled. He enlists the aid of Sam, a fisherman friend who owns Sea Dove, a well-built fishing boat. The two are joined by a stowaway: Creidhe, a young girl whose father was Somerled's blood brother before the crime that led to his exile. After they are all but wrecked on a wild group of islands beyond the edge of the known world, they find a tribe led by Asgrim, a man of about the right age to be Thorvald's father. Creidhe is immediately segregated, housed with the tribe's women, and made to cover her hair. The two young men, needing to buy material to repair their boat, go off with the tribe's men, who are preparing for a hunt-or perhaps a battle-on a nearby island. Disturbing revelations follow. Creidhe learns that the islanders' children are being attacked, immediately after birth, by foreign spirits that kill them within a day. Meanwhile, the reader learns that Asgrim's son has gone into exile after kidnapping the Seal People's prophet, the Foxmask, thus bringing down their curse on the tribe's children. Asgrim has called the hunt in order to capture Foxmask, return him to the Seal People, and end the curse. Believing that Asgrim is his lost father, and hoping to win his approval, Thorvald decides to help the clumsy islanders prepare for the hunt. When Creidhe learns what the islanders have planned for her, she attemptsto escape them, setting off a conflict that seems doomed to end in tragedy. Slow-moving, but emotionally charged. Agent: Russell Galen/Scovil Chichak Galen Literary Agency

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429913546
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
04/01/2007
Series:
Light Isles , #2
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
173,663
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

FOXMASK


By Juliet Marillier

Tor Books

ISBN: 0-7653-0675-1


Chapter One

... if anyone can understand, it will be you; I have always respected your intellect. I had so much to offer here. I could have achieved great things, and in time all would have thanked me for it. Yes, even the Wolfskin. That he has been the one to wrench the possibility from my grasp is bitter indeed ... (excerpt from letter)

The day Thorvald's mother gave him the letter, everything changed. Creidhe was weaving, hands busy on the loom, shuttle flying, a fine web of blue and crimson unfolding before her in perfect pattern, testimony to the skills Aunt Margaret had taught her. So industrious was she, and so quiet, that it seemed she had been forgotten. The bestowal of such a perilous gift as that letter was surely best suited to a moment of complete privacy. Aunt Margaret spoke to her son quietly, in the long room before the hearth. Creidhe could see them through the doorway from the weaving chamber. They did not argue. Voices were seldom raised in this most orderly of households. But Creidhe heard the front door slam open, and she saw Thorvald go down the three steps in a single stride, and vanish across the yard and out over the spring fields as if hunted by demons. She saw the bloodless, driven look on his face. And although she did not know it at the time, that was the moment Thorvald's life, and her own, took a twist and a turn and set off on an entirely different path.

Creidhe knew Thorvald better than anyone. They had been childhood playmates, and they were fast friends. Thorvald had few friends; the fingers of one hand would be more than enough to count them. There were perhaps only two to whom he ever spoke freely, and whom he allowed close: herself, and Sam, the fisherman on whose boat Thorvald sometimes helped. As for Creidhe, she understood Thorvald well: his black moods, his lengthy silences, his sudden, brilliant schemes and his rare times of openness. She loved him, for all his faults. In her mind there was no doubt that one day they would marry. He wasn't a real cousin, just as Margaret wasn't a real aunt. The tie was one of old friendship, not kinship. If Thorvald hadn't seen yet that he and Creidhe were destined to be together forever, he'd realise some time. It was just a matter of waiting.

The shuttle slowed to a stop. Creidhe stood gazing out the doorway across a landscape dotted with sheep, new lambs at foot. From Aunt Margaret's house you could see all the way to the western ocean, where stark cliffs marked the margin of land and sea. Far off now, there was the small, dark figure of Thorvald, running, running away. Creidhe had seen a terrible change in his eyes.

'Finished?'

Creidhe jumped. Margaret had come up beside her without a sound.

'N-no, but maybe I should go home. Father's due back from Sandy Island, and I should be helping?' Creidhe fell silent. Aunt Margaret had tears in her eyes. Such a phenomenon was astounding. Her aunt was a model of propriety and restraint. She never lost control. This household, run by Margaret's long-time retainer, Ash, but ordered by Margaret herself, operated to a strict routine, with little allowance for errors. This approach was reflected in Margaret's own appearance. She was a handsome woman of around six-and-thirty, her hair a rich auburn, plaited neatly and pinned up under a snowy lace cap. Her linen gown was ironed into immaculate pleats, her woollen overdress fastened with twin brooches of patterned silver polished to a moon-bright shine. She bore the accoutrements of a good housewife: knife, scissors and keys hanging from a chain. Margaret was capable. Some found her intimidating. She had never remarried, not since her husband died in the very first year of Norse settlement here in the Light Isles, before Thorvald was born. Creidhe did not find her aunt frightening; there was a bond between them. Creidhe might not be skilled in the arts of a priestess, as her sister Eanna was. She might not be beautiful in the style of the island girls, slender, dark and graceful. But she had a talent for domestic pursuits, in particular spinning, weaving and embroidery. Margaret valued that talent, and over the years she had taken pleasure in fostering this buxom, fair-haired niece's skills. If Thorvald never comes round to marrying me, Creidhe told herself sourly, some other man surely will, just so he can say his wife's the best weaver in Hrossey.

It wasn't as if nobody was interested. Creidhe was never short of partners for dancing. Sam had made her a whalebone comb with sea creatures carved on it. Egil had composed a poem for her and recited it, blushing. Brude had kissed her behind the cowshed when nobody was looking. The problem was, she didn't want sweet-natured Sam or scholarly Egil or handsome Brude with his merry blue eyes. She only wanted Thorvald. Thorvald had eyes dark as night and smooth auburn hair like his mother's. Creidhe loved his cleverness, his wit, the way he could always surprise her. She loved his moments of kindness, rare as they were. She wished, sometimes, that he were a little less aloof; she'd heard other girls call him arrogant, and she didn't like that. He did keep himself to himself; she was lucky to be one of those he viewed as friends. Creidhe sighed. Thorvald was taking a long time to realise she could be more than just a friend to him. At sixteen she was a woman, and ready to be married; more than ready, she thought sometimes. If Thorvald didn't wake up to himself soon, her father would start suggesting likely husbands for her, and what could she say then? As her mother's daughter, she must wed and bear children. It could not be long before Eyvind began to apply subtle pressure.

'Creidhe?'

'Oh! Sorry.' She'd been day-dreaming again. 'Are you all right, Aunt Margaret?'

'Well enough.' The words belied the red eyes, the tight mouth. 'Go on, then, if Nessa's expecting you home. This can wait for tomorrow. The design's coming out well, Creidhe. You're quite an artist.'

Creidhe blushed. 'Thank you, Aunt.' She paused. 'Aunt Margaret ...'

Margaret raised a hand. It was a gesture that said plainly, no questions. Whatever it was that had sent Thorvald out of the house like a man pursued by dark dreams, it was not going to be shared just yet.

'Creidhe,' said Margaret as her niece hovered in the doorway, small bundle of belongings in hand, 'don't go after Thorvald. Not today. Believe me, he's best left alone a while.'

'But ...'

'If he wants to tell you, he'll tell you in his own time. Now off home with you. Your father's been away a long while. I expect he'd enjoy some of his daughter's fine cooking, perhaps your roasted mutton and garlic, or the baked cod with leek sauce. Off with you, now.'

The tone was light, kept carefully so, Creidhe thought. It was her aunt's eyes that gave her away. Thorvald's had held the same shadow.

Sometimes Creidhe did as she was told, and sometimes she didn't. Thorvald was sitting on the ground, his back to a low stone dyke overlooking the western sea. He had his head in his hands, his face concealed. His sleek red hair had escaped its neat ribbon, and the wind whipped the strands like dark fire in the air around his head. He was very still. Behind him in the walled field, sheep bleated and lambs answered. Above in the sky birds fluted songs of spring. Creidhe climbed over the wall and sat down by his side, saying not a word. She had become quite good at this kind of thing.

'Go away, Creidhe!' Thorvald growled after a while. He did not open his eyes.

There was a little boat out there in the swell, coming in from fishing. The wind was picking up; the scrap of sail carried the vessel forward on a fast, rocking course southwards, perhaps to Hafnarvagr, or some point closer. Creidhe raised a hand in greeting, but they did not see her.

'I mean it, Creidhe,' snapped Thorvald. 'Go home. Go back to your embroidery.'

She took a deep breath and let it out, counting up to ten. It was useful to have wise women in the family; one might not learn the mysteries, for those were secret, but one did at least pick up techniques for staying calm.

'What is it?' she asked him quietly. 'What did she give you?'

'I don't want to talk about it. Not to you, not to anyone.'

'All right,' Creidhe said after a moment. 'I understand. When you do want to, I'll be here to listen.'

Thorvald balled his hands into tight fists. His eyes were open now, staring out to the west. It seemed to Creidhe that what he saw was not cliffs, gulls, clouds, a wind-stirred ocean, but something quite different and much further away.

Time passed. Father would be home soon; the remark about roast mutton had been plain truth. Such simple pleasures had the power to bring a smile to Eyvind's lips and a light to his eyes that warmed his whole family. It was not so much the good food that did it, as his daughter's thoughtfulness and skill. Creidhe rose to her feet, picking up her bundle.

'Creidhe?'

It was a dark whisper. She stood frozen in place a moment, then sat down again without a sound.

'A letter,' Thorvald said. 'From my father. She kept it all these years. She never even told me.'

Creidhe was at odds to understand the bitterness in his tone. His father had died before he was born, and that was indeed sad, though surely sadder for Margaret than for this son who had never known the father he lost. From what folk said, Margaret's husband Ulf had been a fine, noble chieftain who had led the first Norse expedition here to the Light Isles. He was a father to be proud of. A letter was good, wasn't it? It seemed not inappropriate that Margaret had saved it until her son was a man.

'From Ulf?' Creidhe asked gently. 'I suppose that is distressing; it reminds you of what you might have had. It is a sorrow he was not here to watch you grow up.'

'I didn't say it was from my mother's husband, the worthy Ulf Gunnarsson.' Thorvald's voice was sharp-edged. 'I said it was from my father. The man she tells me was my real father, that is. Here, if you're so interested. Why not find out all about it, since it seems half the island knows already?'

He drew the little roll of parchment out from the breast of his tunic and thrust it into her hand. Creidhe was mute. What could he mean? She untied the cord that bound the letter and uncurled it to reveal row on row of neat, black script. This was old, the edges worn, the characters smudged here and there as if by drops of water. There was a pale line all across the outside where the cord had fastened it, as if the small scroll had lain long untouched.

'You know I can't read, Thorvald. What is all this about?'

'I'll tell you what it's all about. It means I'm nobody. Worse than nobody, I'm the son of some evil madman, a crazed killer. Forget Ulf; forget a conception in the respectability of marriage, and the sad demise of my father before I saw the light of day. Ulf was not my father. She kept that from me all these years. And they knew: your father, Nessa, Grim, everyone who came here in those first days. Even that stick of a serving man, Ash, knew the truth and kept quiet about it. A conspiracy of silence.' His voice was shaking; he stared fixedly at the ground by his feet. 'How could my own mother be so cruel?'

Creidhe was lost for words. She wanted to put an arm around him for comfort, as she would do if this were one of her sisters. But she did not; Thorvald would shake her off the instant she touched him. This news was indeed terrible, if true. What if such a thing had happened to her? Her own father was the centre of her world, the warmth at the core of the family. Indeed, sometimes it seemed Eyvind was father to the whole community, guardian and loving protector to them all. To hear your father was not your father would be like the snatching away of everything safe. It would be like sundering the heart from the body. There seemed no way to comfort him.

'You're very quiet,' Thorvald said suddenly, turning his head to glare at her. 'No ready words of advice? No quick solutions to my problems?' His eyes narrowed; his mouth went tight. 'But perhaps you knew this already. Perhaps I am indeed the last to be told the truth about my own heritage. Did you know, Creidhe?' His tone was savage; Creidhe shrank back before it.

'Of course not! How could you think?'

Thorvald's shoulders sagged. His anger was turned inwards again. 'That's just it. I don't know what to think any more.'

Who - who was he?' Creidhe ventured. 'Was this letter written to you? Where is he?'

'Ask your father. He knows the answers.'

'But ...'

'Ask Eyvind. He was the one who exiled my father from this shore, so that he never knew he had a son. The letter was to my mother. It says nothing of me. It attempts to explain to her why her lover killed her husband. It tries to justify his murder of his own brother. You see the delightful heritage my lady mother has chosen to make me aware of, now I'm deemed to have reached years of maturity?' Thorvald picked up a stone and hurled it out beyond the cliff edge. A cloud of gulls rose, screaming protest. His face was sheet-white, the eyes dark hollows.

'What was his name?' Creidhe asked, playing for time as her mind searched frantically for the right things to say. In such a situation, there probably were no right things.

'Somerled.' He threw another stone.

'Why don't they speak of such a man? They must all have known him.'

'Why don't you ask them, if you're so interested?'

She breathed slowly. 'Thorvald?'

'What?'

'Aunt Margaret was wise not to tell you this before. You're grown up now. Couldn't you see this, not as a reversal, but a challenge?'

His brows rose in scorn. 'What can you mean, Creidhe?'

'You could find out about Somerled. As you said, there must be plenty of people in the islands who knew him, back then. Maybe he wasn't as bad as you think. Everyone's got some good in them.'

'And what comes after that?' Thorvald snapped. 'I jump in a boat and go off looking for him, I suppose?'

The words hung between them as the silence stretched out, giving them a weight of significance Thorvald had not intended. Blue eyes meet black; there was recognition in both that this crazy idea was, in a way, entirely logical.

Thorvald rolled the letter up and knotted the cord around it. He put it away and leaned back against the wall, arms hugging his knees, eyes firmly closed. She waited again. At length, not opening his eyes, he said, 'I know you're trying to help, Creidhe. But I really do want to be by myself.' There was a pause. 'Please,' he added.

It was not possible to bestow a gesture of affection, a quick hug, a hand-clasp, although Creidhe longed to touch him. 'Farewell, Thorvald,' she said, and made her way home under darkening skies.

She couldn't ask them straight away. This was not a topic that could be broached amidst the general joy and chaos of her father's return, with dogs and children jumping about making noise, and Nessa failing to hold back her tears, and Eyvind himself doing his best to hug everyone at once while burdened with axe, sword and large pack of belongings. He was not a man who asked others to fetch and carry for him, not even now he bore such authority in the islands. When he had married Nessa, he had allied himself to the last royal princess of the Folk. This had conferred a status above that of ordinary men, and Eyvind had built on it by dedicating himself to the establishment of a lasting peace between the two races that had once been bitter enemies, the Norse invaders and the Folk who had inhabited the islands since ancient times. It was more due to him than anyone that the two now lived so amicably side by side, and indeed together. It was almost possible to forget that it had all begun in blood and terror. As for Nessa herself, she had never lost the respect due to her as both priestess and leader of her tribe, a rallying point in times of terrible trial. Now Eanna was priestess, and Nessa no longer enacted the mysteries nor withdrew to the places of ritual. She had her husband, her four healthy daughters, her household and her community, and played a part in councils and negotiations, as befitted her special status. For all that, there was a sorrow in it. Eanna had been the first child for Eyvind and Nessa. The next had been a son, and the sea had taken Kinart before he'd seen five years in the world. After him, there were only girls: Creidhe herself, then Brona and Ingigerd. That was not as it should have been; not as the ancestors foretold it.

Despite their near-royal status in the islands, Creidhe's family dwelt in a compound that was more farm than palace, a sprawling set of low stone buildings surrounded by walled infields, somewhat east of the tidal island known as the Whaleback. The Whaleback had once been the centre of power in the Light Isles. Nessa had lived there; her uncle had been a great king. When the Norsemen first sailed out of the east, Margaret and Nessa and Eyvind had been not much older than Creidhe was now. That voyage of discovery across the sea from Rogaland to the sheltered waterways of the Light Isles had begun as a search for a life of peace and prosperity. It had turned, in the space of one bloody year, into a bitter, destructive conflict that had come to an end only after most of Nessa's folk had been cruelly slain. It was Eyvind and Nessa, Norse warrior and priestess of the Folk, who had won that peace: the two of them side by side.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from FOXMASK by Juliet Marillier Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Juliet Marillier is the author of the Bridei Chronicles, which includes The Dark Mirror and Blade of Fortriu. In addition, Marillier is the author of the Sevenwaters trilogy as well as a fantasy duet, Wolfskin and Foxmask. She holds advanced degrees in music and languages, and has had a lifelong passion for both Celtic music and Irish folklore. She resides with her family in Perth, Western Australia.

Juliet Marillier was born in Dunedin, New Zealand, a town with strong Scottish roots. She currently lives in a rural area of Western Australia, sharing her house with a cat and a dog. A university graduate in music and languages, she has had a varied career that includes working for government agencies, opera singing, and raising four children. Juliet now writes full time. Her lifelong interest in myth, legend, folklore and traditional music is a strong influence on both style and theme in her writing. A passion for early British history, reflecting her Celtic ancestry, is evident in her choice of settings.

Juliet Marillier achieved international recognition in 1999 with the publication of her award-winning novel Daughter of the Forest. This is the first book of the Sevenwaters Trilogy, a historical fantasy set in Ireland and Britain in the ninth century, and is loosely based on the traditional fairy tale, The Six Swans. The second book in the series, Son of the Shadows, won the 2000 Aurealis Award for best fantasy novel.
Juliet Marillier's second series is based on the first Viking voyage from Norway to Orkney, and weaves history and folklore into a saga of adventure, romance and magic. The series is made up of two novels, Wolfskin and Foxmask.
Juliet is a member of the druid order OBOD and of the Australian Greens Party, reflecting her commitment to environmental causes.

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Foxmask (Saga of the Light Isles Series #2) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was such a great book, once started I couldn't put it down. It is so rich and melodical. I thought it was much better than 'Wolfskin'. It's definately one of my favorite books now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Last night I finished this book, becuase I felt I could not rest until it was done..and wow! This was just a good as WolfSkin, with all the characters having some very important role eventually in the plot. I will not sit here and tell you about the story, you have to read it for yourself. The enjoyment is great, the characters are deep, and the knowledge is very real.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another compulsive, can't be put down tale from Juliet Marillier, Amazingly crafted story woven around the early times of the Druids, Norse, Christian and Forces of Nature that shape the history and legends of the islands between Scotland and Norway, More elements of fantasy and different setting then the earlier book Wolfskin make for a great read, What a treasure this author is!
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I loved this book! The characters were well developed, the story line was moving and really pulled me in. I read Wolfskin first, looking forward to the next! G
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book to death so why did I rate it four stars? It may have been great, but didn't live quite up to my expectation. The Sevenwaters Trilogy is still her best. It was still greatly amazing!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I, by chance picked this up at the library, under new books. I was mesmerized after 10 pages, and sent it to one of my friends. She loved it also.
harstan More than 1 year ago
At the top of the world, Norseman Eyvind met and married local Celtic seer Princess Nessa, but the couple and their loyal followers had to struggle to survive the betrayal of his best friend Somerled (see WOLFSKIN). Several years have passed since Somerled was exiled. Widow Margaret raised her son Thorvald. He learns that his biological father was not his mother¿s deceased husband, but instead is the traitor Somerled. Needing to learn more about his patriarchal heritage, Thorvald goes on a quest to find his sire while wondering if he might be a murderous chip off the old block. Sam the fisherman takes him to look for his father, but at sea both are shocked to find a stowaway, the daughter of Eyvind and Nessa, Creidhe, who loves Thorvald. When they are shipwrecked on an island beyond the known world, Asgrim, leader of the Seal People, provides hospitality to the trio. The tribe has terrible troubles as a malevolent force is killing their newborns. Everyone feels Asgrim's son caused the curse when he kidnapped the prophet the Foxmask. Believing that Asgrim is Somerled, Thorvald joins their cause not knowing what the islanders plan to do to Creidhe.---- This sequel starts fast with the sea voyage, decelerates to introduce several subplots on the island of the Seal People, but then picks up speed when the various storylines converge. Thorvald is an intriguing soul struggling to find his identity. Creidhe is his key causing Thorvald to choose between his father and the young woman he loves. By moving to another locale, introducing a new tribe and the next generation, Juliet Marillier furbishes a fresh tale in her medieval Nordic world.---- Harriet Klausner