This book started slow for me, but I was becoming ensnared, page by page. I tried to put it down for a day or two during a very hectic time, and instead found myself sneaking in a page here and there because I needed to see how the book was progressing. Excellent writing by a master storyteller. The creeping evil of Somerled's childhood adventures and the eventual awakening of Eyvind to his own and his friend's true natures is skillfully woven into the story. The fact that the heroine, Nessa, doesn't enter the book till somewhere around midpoint enhances rather than detracts from her importance and power in the plot while allowing the male characters to be developed much more fully than in the Sevenwaters trilogy. An excellent read if you can tolerate Eyvind's nearly fatal trust and refusal to see what is around him for the first portion of the book. (It was very frustrating to me.)
Given the impact the Sevenwaters trilogy had on me, I expected to adore this - I wasn't really disappointed, I just didn't get as engrossed as I did with Marillier's previous works. I was slow getting into it at first, but it picked up for me once they reached the Light Isles and Nessa's perspective was introduced. I love the way that nature and the spirits of the earth are given such reverence in the author's works, and how she draws on mythology. Perhaps the reason why I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would was because the bleakness of it - but I think that tone was appropriate given that Norse culture was a major part of the story. It was still a stunning, compelling novel.
What a lovely book. Juliet Marillier tells stories beautifully.
Although I was often frustrated with the main character, Eyvind, I was able to appreciate his role in the story.
The Norse mythology, stark landscape, and generally male-dominated culture only added to the delight I felt when reading.
Overall, I would most definitely recommend.
This book was only 'alright' for me. I liked the author's Sevenwaters trilogy much more. It wasn't a horrible book, but I probably won't read it again.
This is a book not to be confused with Marillier's previous works. It is hard to appriciat for the difficult times these people live in and are faced with. These are very barberic times, where the code of life is honor and duty, not love. I have and will contenue to read this book again and again.
Amazing book. I found it incredible. I went and got the sequel and am reading that now and will have it posted up once i am done with it.
Very good book with lot's of excitment.