‘Their garments are black as night. They carry torches in their hands, darkness and anger in their heart. They are coming.’
When a dark family secret is exposed, Sigrun’s peaceful life is shattered. Forced to pay for her parents’ misdeeds, she finds herself exiled from all she knows – and from the boy she loves – for three long years.
Yet more secrets lie ahead; not least the power Sigrun finds awakening in herself, seemingly passed to her from a mysterious amulet. Can she use her new-found gift to save herself and those around her from the dangers they face? And will true love wait until her return?
We first meet Sigrun as she is trying to break in a colt that so far, has resisted all attempts at domestication. Her father’s ship and her uncle’s have both arrived into the bay at the same time. Sigrun makes a spectacular arrival at that moment and it is here where we see her mother, Thora, have her first message from the goddess Freya. Still caught up in the first chapter we meet the returning childhood playmate, Ingvar, who Sigrun doesn’t recognise. The scene is set. Within the first chapter I was hooked and wanted to find out how this story would unfold.
There are so many twists and turns to the path of Sigrun’s journey from Iceland to Jorvik. I enjoyed reading how life was for her family as farmers and how it changed living in the city. The characters we meet are well delineated and easy to identify with. How the Norse culture felt about honour, shame and revenge is central to the plot. The Norse way of life is scattered throughout – the longhouses, the domestic arrangements, how during emigration the whole family move, the fostering of children, and Valhalla. I loved the ‘assembly’, which I felt was very powerful and truly showed how Sigrun had matured. I could imagine myself alongside Sigrun experiencing this way of life.
If you enjoy Norse myths and legends you will love reading this book! I thought it was a powerful tale of a teenager coming into her own power. For me, the ‘true love’ was a sub plot running underneath and winding around this.
If you want to know the secrets …………………. Well, you won’t be reading them here ………………………….
I won this signed book in a Twitter competition – thank you to Jasmine Richards (Twitter @JNRichards) for choosing my entry.