What happens when a skeptical Barbary corsair, a man of science and astronomy, is captured and made a thrall in Norway? What happens when a people who live life full of mythology are confronted with someone who's not afraid of spirits, curses, and otherworldly things, for he doesn't believe in them? What happens when uncanny plots are then put into motion?
A Mankind Witch is about the clash of worlds and cultures on many levels, and it's a fun read on many levels.
A Mankind Witch is part of the Heirs of Alexandria series, a fantastical alternate history in which magic works, and the famed Library of Alexandria never burned. But don't despair if you haven't read the other very good books in this series, _This Rough Magic_, and _The Shadow of the Lion_. A Mankind Witch stands very well on its own.
This book reads very well as a fantastical look at Norse Mythology, complete with Odin, trolls, dwarves, kobolds, elves, and witches. You can't go wrong putting Grieg on the soundtrack and settling in for a good read. Readers who have little or no acquaintance with Norse Mythology will very much enjoy this book without needing any deeper knowledge of the history behind it.
The book also reads very well as a satirical alternate history. As you recognize different people, you may find yourself snickering uncontrollably, and then reading to find how these people end up working together.
If you read it on both levels, and add in a further level of song and story, this is so very much fun. I'd swear that Mr. Freer used Grieg's _Hall of the Mountain King_ to help him pace the book - it starts quickly, and maintains the tension clear to the finale. I highly recommend this book.