Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com
It's 1910 in the frozen land of the Arctic Circle. Sig has never known any other life. His father came here to get rich finding gold, but that never happened. Now, it is just Sig, his sister, Anna, and their step-mother, Nadya, because Sig's father is dead.
It happened as he returned from town. He foolishly cut across the lake on the dogsled. He always told Sig it was not the safest route, but for some reason he didn't heed his own advice.
When Sig discovered his father's frozen body, he was able to piece together what probably happened. The lower portion of his father's body fell through the ice, and using his remaining strength, he was able to pull himself from the frigid water. Scattered papers from his pack and jumbled stick matches were evidence that he had tried to start a fire in hopes of warming himself, but the sub-zero temperature worked faster than his ungloved hands could manage to generate heat.
With the help of Nadya and Anna, Sig brings the body back to their tiny cabin, and the two women head back to town for help. Sig waits uncomfortably with his father's remains until he hears a knock at the door. Instead of the help he anticipates, it is a huge man who identifies himself as Gunther Wolff, and he demands his share of the gold he says Sig's father owes him.
What follows is a day and night of terror for Sig, and soon his sister, as well. Sig learns secrets about his dead father's past and his connection to this frightening man. The siblings also discover that lessons learned in childhood do provide answers even in the toughest of situations.
Author Marcus Sedgwick tells an amazing story of survival in one of the most inhospitable environments on earth. He takes readers into a tiny, isolated cabin and keeps them on the edge of their seat until the last page. Adventure fans are sure to love this one.