Tuesday, July 04, 2006


By Juliet Marillier.

This is the fourth book I've read by her, and I may be beginning to notice some patterns:

The Christian priests who believe that we're all God's children and that every religion leads to the same peace in the end.

The perfect romance between the main character(s) and their beloved (Sorcha and Red, Liadan and Bran, Fainne and Darragh, Eyvind and Nessa... I bet if I read Foxmask there will be another perfectly set up pair there, too).

The pivotal moment of decision halfway through. (Seen previously in at least Fainne's story.)

One wonders how historically accurate these Christian priests are. Were all missionaries so willing to adopt or at least accept the religion of the people they visited?

So. This book is mostly about Eyvind the Wolfskin, an elite Norse warrior in the service of Thor. He ends up going along with a mission to peacefully colonize "Orkneyjar", a set of islands somewhere. (Sorry, I don't know where Orkney is.) Unfortunately, tragedy strikes. How tragic.

This is probably a good book; it is at least a fairly smooth and somewhat interesting read, once I got past the first few pages. However, I guess I would tend to agree with other reviewers (hopefully this isn't caused by bias from reading the reviews before the book) that it isn't as good as the Sevenwaters trilogy. The promiscuous (well? but "not that promiscuous", if there is such a thing) sexuality somewhat cheapens it, I think. Eyvind has to make some decisions that are difficult for him (he repeatedly claims that he's not very smart) but maybe not so much for anyone who is reading the book, losing some sympathy value. (How many of us are Norse berserkers?)

Ehhh... maybe not worth reading. I'm not sure I trust my judgment in this case, though: you may want to seek other opinions.


Martin LaBar said...

Well, I liked the book, although you've nailed it pretty well.

Joshua said...

Now I'm not sure whether by "nailed" you mean something more like "given an accurate review" or "totally disparaged." Well? :)