Skarga’s father thinks she’s a witch, so he pays a cousin he’s never met, Gimr the Skald, to kill her. When Gimr arrives, collects his money and Skarga, her life changes forever. Later in the story, a second Gimr arrives at her father’s longhouse. What’s going on?
Dive into A White Horizon and the first thing you’ll notice is the prose. It’s lush, poetic and it doesn’t pull its punches. And talking of punches, one of the Gimrs—I won't tell you which one—could give Game of Thrones’ Ramsay Bolton a run for his money!
Set in ‘the frozen north of the north,’ the story contains elements of Norse mythology. The world building is well rendered and immersive, and the bleak settings match Skarga’s plight. After reading this book, if you asked me to write an essay on Life in a Viking Longhouse, I wouldn't flinch from the task.
The book’s characters are well rounded, although a fair number are sadistic, especially towards Skarga. It is Skarga’s alternating carer-friend relationship with the boy, Egil, that provides relief and refuge from much of the story’s brutality.
For me, the A White Horizon's ending was too abrupt, but that’s forgivable knowing the next two books are already available. I’ll be adding the second in the series to my To Be Read pile.
Image: Amazon.co.uk, 29-Jan-2018
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