on 20 January 2016
Great book! A cracking story, drawing on all sorts of Icelandic mythology, but with the people talking and acting like real people, apart from all being very beautiful, very small, very quiet, very magic etc. The love stories are satisfyingly difficult and they seem like they're not going to make it - spoiler alert - there are happy endings. I do love a happy ending, when the story merits it. The amazing and unique Icelandic landscape is well evoked and is a big part of the story. The women have significant conversations and make their own decisions. The blokes are all heroes or villains - but have characters. It cracks along and really is a good read. I have been to Iceland and am going again because it's such a strange and mysterious place; the book has made me think I need to research more about the island's people, history and literature. But it is very accessible. I actually turned David Attenboro off so I could read the middle bit....well done Betsy Tobin. I wish I could write like that.
on 9 February 2012
This book is a true masterpiece of Norse mythology and human nature set in the dramatic landscape of Iceland. It is a retelling of the Norse goddess Freya's desire for the famed Brisingamen necklace crafted by 4 dwarves. Yet this tale is interwoven with the tale of a young Viking woman struggling with societies marital demands of her and the needs of her heart for a man she cannot have. It explores Freya's character as she must give her body to each of the dwarves in return for the necklace the fates have told her will save Iceland from destruction, yet it is with one dwarf in particular of the four brothers that does not take Freya so eagerly and the pair travel and encounter other mythological beings from the Norse Pantheon as they try to return to the Dwarves realm in order to fulfil the bargin.
All the characters are wonderfully crafted and the strong emotions involved with them all connect seamlessly to create a wondrous tale of love, desire and the changing of times.
on 13 March 2008
I picked up this book by chance in a small bookshop in Marlborough. The book called to me. I read the first two sentences and knew that it was everything I needed from a book right then. It has magic and transformation and feather cloaks and swan maidens, giants and dwarves and a tightness of spare writing that drives the plot. It is beautiful and magical and a masterpiece, where the landscape is as much a character in the book as any of the people. And it has love. Perfect.
on 3 November 2009
This book is fantastic, a mixture of mythology, love, family feuds, magic and dwarves.
i cant go into detail but all ill say is this is a fantastic book and i advise anybody to buy it! :D