As easy as A, B, C . . . from HA
In recognition of this winter wonderland we’ve all been in for the past month, let us celebrate with a spellbinding tale aptly named Icefall. It’s Matthew J. Kirby’s second book and a far cry from his first novel, The Clockwork Three.
Icefall takes place in the frozen northlands of the Norsemen. It is a tale full of intrigue, mystery, treachery, deception, honor, hope, and ice. Lots and lots of ice. Bitterly cold ice. Did I mention it takes place in the frozen northlands? Oh… and Berserkers. Big, warrior men of legend. I’m telling you, this story has everything.
It is the story of Solveig, second daughter to the king. Her older sister is beautiful, her younger brother is the crown prince, leaving Solveig as, well, the middle child. Never a good place to be.
Solveig tells the story, which is fitting as she decides she wants to be a skald, a storyteller, even though it may run contrary to her father’s wishes. As the middle child, she really has no place in the palace or political hierarchy of things.
The family, along with some servants, have been sent to a glacier area for safety while their father goes off to war. The war, in essence, is being fought over the eldest daughter, Solveig’s sister, Asa. Another king, much older than she, wanted Asa for his wife and her father refused. These are the things that brought forth wars in olden times.
As the story unfolds, it appears there is a traitor and spy in their midst. Mass poisoning of the Berserkers, the bad king finding their lair and moving in to take what he feels is his. Spellbinding is an excellent description of this book. Kirby has done an exceedingly fine job of developing characters, settings, and his sharing of Norse legends and gods makes for a totally believable story.
Oh, by the way…
- A 2012 Edgar Award Winner for Best Juvenile Mystery
- A 2011 Agatha Award Nominee
- New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing
- 2012 ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults
- Judy Lopez Memorial Award Winner
A tip of the hat, Matt. Thanks for a great read!
See you next time for Tips on Tuesday.