by Matthew J. Kirby
4 out of 5 stars
Solveig and her siblings have been sent to a frozen fjord in the mountains where they will be safe during a Viking war between clans. The winter cold freezes the sea, preventing any ships from getting to them. However, there appears to be a traitor in their midst among the soldiers and servants, and they are trapped until the spring thaw can bring help.
I loved the thoughtful writing style in this book! The writing brings important details to the forefront, giving the characters depth and enhancing the setting without slowing down the pacing.
Solveig is a young girl who is just discovering her own strengths. She has been overlooked and dismissed, because she is not beautiful like her older sister. But she begins to learn that there are other characteristics that are more important than beauty. I loved her character growth!
I enjoyed the way Solveig analyzes and questions the people around her as she tries to figure out who the traitor could be. Her heart is so kind that she has trouble imagining that any of the people she has grown to love could be truly evil. She is intelligent, but young and inexperienced. It’s fascinating to see how her emotional and mental growth into a young woman is showcased by the increase in her insight into the personalities of the people around her.
The adventure is a little slow, but full of suspense, and has an action-packed ending. Most of the book is dedicated to the analysis of each character to see if they would have the motivations or opportunity to be the traitor. As a character-driven reader, I loved it, but if you are a plot-driven reader, you might find it a little slow.
I think it’s pretty cool that you can’t tell which character is on the cover actually hammering into the ice. Through the entire book, you know it’s coming, like a promise. And when it actually gets to that scene near the end, it’s a completely wonderful surprise!