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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love Norse myths you will love reading this!, 12 Mar 2011
By 
Shazjera (Bournemouth) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sigrun's Secret (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous Historical Fiction, 3 Aug 2011
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This review is from: Sigrun's Secret (Kindle Edition)
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. To put it bluntly, it's scary, no matter how far you travel.
Having said that, this book is not just about different places but also about finding change within yourself, and that Sigrun clearly does. It was wonderful watching her grow in so many different ways and coming into herself in a way that would not have been possible had she stayed in Iceland.

As well as all that, there's also a lot of mystery and suspense, which I won't spoil in my review but it involves romance, a woman and a lot of intrigue. There's also a lot of plotting and scheming and I absolutely love that in a book, I like to guess who the bad person is, even if I do nearly always guess wrong.
Perhaps one of the issues I had the strongest opinion on was the whole argument about honour, shame and revenge and clearly Sigrun agrees with me, though I won't say anymore as it would spoil it, but you'll understand once you read it.
As for the slave trade? Well don't get me started on that, I could go on for hours!

In a nutshell. this is a brilliant and romantic book and if you don't love the ending then I'll be very surprised. I can't wait to read Marie's next book; The Girl in the Mask which is due for release in March 2012.
If you haven't read any of Marie's books yet and you love Historical fiction with some romance then give them a go.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I could lose myself in this book!, 25 Mar 2013
This review is from: Sigrun's Secret (Paperback)
This story is by one of my favourite authors. It's exciting, gripping and with a touch of romance - I loved reading about Sigrun, her family and friends. It's good to read, especially if you've already read 'Daughter of fire and ice' by this author, as 'Sigrun's secret' is like a follow-on from that book. You won't get bored reading this book, it will enthrall you! I loved reading it - it has a wonderfully satisfactory ending!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing historical detail, 18 Oct 2011
By 
Y. S. Lee (Kingston, Ontario) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sigrun's Secret (Paperback)
Sigrun's Secret is a totally absorbing immersion in Viking culture and history. I loved the richness of Jensen's detail and the way I learned effortlessly about Viking lore, especially the role of the healer, while swept along in a travel narrative. The next time I'm in York (ancient Jorvik), I'll be paying close attention to the streets and architecture, thanks to this novel!

Sigrun is a warm and believable heroine; timid, yet brave when it proves necessary. Watching her grow in confidence - especially when it comes to making peace in her utterly warlike culture - is wonderful and makes for a very satisfying conclusion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful YA historical from Marie-Louise Jensen., 3 July 2011
By 
Rebecca Herman (USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sigrun's Secret (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. This book is a sequel of sorts to her previous book Daughter of Fire and Ice, which told the story of Sigrun's parents and their journey to Iceland. However you do not need to have read the previous book to enjoy or understand this one. If you enjoy historical fiction and historical romance I highly recommend this book and others by the author, and I can't wait to read her next book.

Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sigrun is great!, 25 April 2011
This review is from: Sigrun's Secret (Paperback)
This is the sequel to Daughter of Fire and Ice, although I only realised that when I started reading it.

In Daughter of Fire and Ice(spoilers ahead) ,Thora is kidnapped by a norwegian chieftain, Bjorn Svanson, who is fleein g to Iceland. However he is killed by a slave who's sister he has just murdered. Thora has a vision of her and the slave going to Iceland so they decide he should pretend to be Bjorn Svanson and they should escape on his ships as the King's army are coming after the real Bjorn and are likely to squash anyone in their way. Once they've done that, they come to love each other but Bjorn is then forced into marrying Ragna, who turns out to be a healer-gone-bad, who uses her skills to kill anyone who offends her. But at the end, when the kinsmen of Svanson come to avenge him, Ragna is accidentally killed and everything gets revealed to everyone, both her past and Bjorn's.

Sigrun is Bjorn and Thora's daughter-she also has a brother called Asgrim- but because her parents are scared that childrten will blurt things out she's been told her father really is a former Norwegian chieftain who ran away because he didn't want to submit to the king and that he was married to Thora before they left. However the real Bjorn svanson had a son, Halfgrim, who is now old enough to seek revenge and he arrives, captures Sigrun and tells her wrongly that both her parents were his father's slaves.

an agreement is made that Bjorn should leave Iceland for three years with Asgrim and Sigrun ,but as soon as they're on the ship he clams up and won't talk to Sigrun about what's really going on. Asgrim meanwhile gets more and more resentful and angry with his parents and starts drinking. Sigrun is depressed because she has to leave her home and Bera and Helgi's son Ingvar, who she loves.

they meet up with Thrang ,the sea captain from the first book and his son Leif and go to stay in York, where Thrang is now living. sigrun finds that her skills as a healer, which wrre taught to her by her mother but she never really mastered, have suddenly increased because of an amulet Ingvar gave her.

Quite a bit of the book is taken up by a mystery around Leif, a saxon called Leola, the local royal family and a slave Sigrun rescues called Maria. Although obviously the characters haver big problems and some of the themes around raiding and slavery(there's a lot more about this in this book) are quite dark, the tone of all this is fairly cheerrful,unlike the last book which was a bit too full of suffereing for me, so I wasn't prepared for what happens next, when the book suddenly turns very bleak and a lot of bad stuff happens. I can't really say anymore without completely giving it away but this isn't just an extra book-it will change the way you see Daughter of Fire and Ice too.

In the end, Sigrun, who is a brilliant character, saves the day in a really satisfying way (and some stuff that didn't make sense about Halfgrim is also explained) but it didn't quite make up for the bleakness of earlier.

here are a few more gripes:
Sigrun and Asgrim never learn about their father's first wife, even though they are given clues about it. this seems a pretty important part of the story to be missed out, even though I know it's not that relevant to the plot of this book.

This book doesn't resolve many of the mysteries of the last one. We never learn more about the fake Bjorn's real family or what happened to Thora's father and I was expecting it to at least clear up the second of those.

I was never sure what "sigrun's secret" actually was. She has quite a few secrets but there isn't one that stands out over the others and is integral to the plot. Still, it does make a good title.

the book is also a bit broken up-it's almost like several little stories about the same character each of which ends as the next one starts.

But none of these are major problems and on the other hand ,as other reviews said, the history is woven in really well, there is a huge amount of cultural detail but it's not mentioned unless it's actually relevant to the story, the characters are likable, believable and consistent and the main character really grows throgh the story. So yes, overall, a great novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i don't know how she does it!!!, 10 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Sigrun's Secret (Kindle Edition)
amazing book
a great sequel to "Daughter of Fire and Ice".
Marie-Louise Jensen is an amazing author and I have read most of her books and am trying to read all of them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fab vikingy novel from Marie-Louise, 2 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Sigrun's Secret (Kindle Edition)
This is another really gripping, thrilling, exciting and entertaining novel by Marie-Louise Jenson as well as proving to be a truly delightful sequel to Daughter of Fire and Ice.
The way she describes and immerses the reader in the treacherous and dangerous medieval world these fascinating characters live in is truly captivating and it what makes her writing so delightful to read. It's easy enough to understand for young teenage readers but presents real dangerous problems that even make that adult readers feel protective of the characters.
It follows many years after the original cast of characters in Daughter of Fire and Ice have achieved their "happy ending" but sadly it proves that peace is short lived as secrets from their past reemerge to harm their children and the family is split and with one half being sent into exile. Much of that exile is spent in the large hustle and bustle of Jorvik aka York, the new major trading centre for vikings of both good and bad nature. Being born in York and raised in Yorkshire I was particularly impressed with how real Marie-Louise made the Jorvik life appear. With the characters coming from remote Iceland I felt that helped Marie-Louise emphasis to the reader just how important a trading centre and how busy Jorvik was back in its medieval hay-day. Yet even here the divded family encounters more problems but they also encounter old family friends which help them muddle through.
This sequel is packed with even more thrills and threats as well as friendship, humour, secrets, deciept and of course a good love story than the first and shows the power of family bonds going further than ever before. Definitely recommended for readers of Daughter of Fire and Ice. And if you haven't read that yet, well, do so and then read this straight after. In either story the reader is never disappointed and won't regret a single minute.
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4.0 out of 5 stars moving read, 29 Sep 2013
This review is from: Sigrun's Secret (Kindle Edition)
Sigrun lives happily on a Viking farmstead in Iceland and we meet her as her father, Bjorn returns from a trading trip to Dublin. She falls in love with her childhood friend Ingvar but her brother Asgrim is difficult. Sigrun's hopes are suddenly dashed by the arrival of Halfgrim son of the real Bjorn who reveals that Sigrun's father is in fact an escaped slave who had assumed the identy of his cruel master, Bjorn, who he killed. Bjorn, Sigrun and Asgrim are exiled to Jorvik and it was heartrendering reading how they have to leave Sigrun's mother and Ingvar. However, Halfgrim follows them to Jorvik and kills Sigrun's father, capturing her to sell as a slave. She is rescued by Ingvar and bravely makes peace with Halfgrim to save Asgrim and Ingvar fighting him and the feud continuing. I loved the way the characters were portrayed. My favourites were Ingvar and Sigrun. Sigrun is so likeable and it was nice to see her changing and getting more confident in the story after she was given the amulet. The only thing I didn't like too much was the subpolt with Leola and some traumatic scenes like when Sigruns father dies which weren't exactly the kind of thing I wanted to read before bed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, 10 Feb 2013
This review is from: Sigrun's Secret (Kindle Edition)
I like this book very much. It is quite short but I have read at least ten times since I bought it. I would like there to be a sequel to this book.
To conclude, a good book
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Sigrun's Secret
Sigrun's Secret by Marie-Louise Jensen (Paperback - 6 Jan 2011)
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