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Sigrun's Secret Paperback – 6 Jan 2011

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Sigrun's Secret + Daughter of Fire and Ice + Between Two Seas
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (6 Jan. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192728822
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192728821
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 369,146 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marie-Louise Jensen (nee Chalcraft) was born in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, of an English father and Danish mother. Her early years were largely devoted to the reading of as many books as possible, but also plagued by teachers who wanted her to spend time on less useful things (such as long division).
Marie-Louise studied Scandinavian and German at the UEA and has lived and worked in Denmark and Germany as well as England. She stopped full-time work to home-educate her two sons and to rediscover children's books, before doing an MA in Writing for Young People at the Bath Spa University in 2005.
Her first two books, Between Two Seas and The Lady in the Tower were shortlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize. Between Two Seas was also shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and the Glen Dimplex New Writers' Award.

Product Description


'With feisty heroines and rich period details, Jensen is one of the best historical writers around.' (The Bookseller)

'Jensen's storytelling is enthralling and improves book by book' (Scotsman)

Book Description

A Viking tale of secrets, revenge and romance.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Shazjera TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
We first meet Sigrun as she is trying to break in a colt that so far, has resisted all attempts at domestication. Her father's ship and her uncle's have both arrived into the bay at the same time. Sigrun makes a spectacular arrival at that moment and it is here where we see her mother, Thora, have her first message from the goddess Freya. Still caught up in the first chapter we meet the returning childhood playmate, Ingvar, who Sigrun doesn't recognise. The scene is set. Within the first chapter I was hooked and wanted to find out how this story would unfold.

There are so many twists and turns to the path of Sigrun's journey from Iceland to Jorvik. I enjoyed reading how life was for her family as farmers and how it changed living in the city. The characters we meet are well delineated and easy to identify with. How the Norse culture felt about honour, shame and revenge is central to the plot. The Norse way of life is scattered throughout - the longhouses, the domestic arrangements, how during emigration the whole family move, the fostering of children, and Valhalla. I loved the `assembly', which I felt was very powerful and truly showed how Sigrun had matured. I could imagine myself alongside Sigrun experiencing this way of life.

If you enjoy Norse myths and legends you will love reading this book! I thought it was a powerful tale of a teenager coming into her own power. For me, the `true love' was a sub plot running underneath and winding around this.

If you want to know the secrets ...................... Well, you won't be reading them here ...............................
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Leanne Bell on 3 Aug. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is the fourth book I've read by Miss Jensen and once again she doesn't disappoint, if anything this is now my favourite of her novels and it blew me away with it's plot, mystery and romance. Set in a time when Vikings were exploring new places and with Norse legend throughout this is one book you don't want to miss. I will also mention that this is a loose sequel to Daughter of Fire and Ice as the main character is the daughter of the main characters of Daughter of Fire and Ice. You can read this as a stand alone, but be wary of this if you plan to read Daughter of Fire and Ice.

Breaking in a young colt so that it can be ridden and helping out her mother in her healing duties, Sigrun is eagerly awaiting the return of her father from sea, along with her childhood friend Ingvar and his family. The joy of both families return, however, is short lived as because of a long kept secret by her father, Sigrun is forced to leave her home in Iceland along with her brother and father, leaving behind her mother and the blossoming relationship between her and Ingvar. As a parting gift, Sigrun is given an amulet which appears give her powerful gifts, but is it enough to help her and her father in their exile?

As far as story lines go this is one twisting and adventurous one as Sigrun and her group sail from Iceland to Jorvik with only a few supplies and some money. I loved how realistically this is written and it was very easy to picture the dangerous seas, cruel slave trade and the oh so stubborn pride of men.
Jorvik itself was busy and very different from the Iceland that Sigrun left and it was amusing to read about her outrage at certain practices (such as the use of toilet facilities lol) and I can relate in some way to that bewildering sense of being in a new place.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Herman on 3 July 2011
Format: Paperback
Fifteen-year-old Sigrun lives a peaceful life with her family on their farm in Iceland in the 9th century. All she knows about her family's history is that her father was once a chieftain in Norway and he and her mother moved to Iceland twenty years ago to start a settlement. Sigrun is happy because her brother and her best friend, Ingvar, have just returned from a year spent traveling to Ireland to trade. At first she barely recognizes Ingvar, who has grown into a young man during the past year. Sigrun is confused by the new feelings she has for her childhood friend.

Just as Sigrun begins to realize how she truly feels about Ingvar, her world falls apart. Her father is accused of being a murderer and an imposter and is banished from Iceland for three years, and Sigrun and her brother must go into exile with him while their mother stays behind to look after their farm. Sigrun is heartbroken at leaving behind her home, her friends, and Ingvar, when she has only just realized that she has fallen in love with him. After leaving Iceland, Sigrun, her brother, and their father travel to the city of Jorvik (now York, England), which was ruled by Scandanavians in the late 9th and early 10th centuries. Jorvik is very different from Sigrun's peaceful countryside home in Iceland, and she doesn't like living in a noisy and dirty city. I found this part of the story particularly interesting as I always had thought of the Vikings as just being raiders who attacked and then left and I didn't know they had controlled such a large part of what is now England.

I have loved everything I have read by Marie-Louise Jensen and Sigrun's Secret is no exception. All of her books have wonderful main characters and interesting and unusual historical settings.
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