on 20 September 2014
I enjoyed reading this as much as I did way back when I was a teenager. It's still as engrossing but my perspective has changed. This time around I was more appreciative of the picture of early medieval Norway and the impact of status and religion on every day life. It's well researched with notes and references.
The characters are also richly imagined and although, I suppose it's a romance essentially, it delivers much more than this on reading.
Good kindle copy.
on 8 June 2010
As the trilogy has come so highly recommended by so many whose opinions I respect, I finally got around to reading the first volume and I found it unputtdownable. This tale of a young maiden coming of age, who is first bethrothed and is then seduced by a man she passionately falls for is beautifully told - one smells and breathes in the landscape and the times. And the rich backdrop of catholic norway with its saints and feast days makes one long again for a europe united under catholicism.
on 3 October 2013
I absolutely loved this book, and it is a great shame that it currently appears to be out of print in this country except perhaps in hardback. I was recommended the trilogy by a historian, for I had complained that so many historical novels were often annoyingly factually inaccurate and tended to focus on a love interest. The book is a real saga, concentrating, in the first book, on the coming of age of the heroine Kristin.Yes, it is a romantic novel, but it is much more than that. The story line is strong and the different characters wonderfully drawn. Kiristin is virutous but easily led astray. Her hero is a slick Casanova and deeply flawed. There is the faithful boyhood friend, the sick sister, the universally respected father...all the ingredients of an ageless classic novel. The descriptions of mediaeval everyday life and customs in Norway are fascinating, and the footnotes very helpful in elaborating on the more obscure.
I enjoyed too the beautifully evocative desciptions of the countryside and the seasons. All in all, it was a book that I found hard to put down, but didnt' want to finish either. I can't wait to read the Mistress of Husaby and The Cross.