Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby


I didn't have high expectations when I started this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was one of the better crafted stories I have read in a while, with action as well as depth and meaning. Solveig is the middle daughter of a Nordic king and considers herself without value to her father. She, her older sister, and younger brother are sent to a freezing fortress at the base of a glacier to be kept safe during a war with a neighboring nobleman.

Trapped for the winter with only a few servants, restless warriors, and a dwindling food supply, Solveig finds herself struggling to keep peace in their camp. When acts of treachery begin to surface, the peace is threatened even more. Solveig finds hidden talents as she trains with the king's skald, or storyteller. She learns the power of words to soothe heartache, engender courage, and even save lives.

Although this story of a young girl is set in an ancient, frozen landscape, Solveig's story resonates with youth of all ages and circumstances who are searching for their own place in life. The action is captivating, but the life lessons are powerful for youth of all ages.

Recommended for ages 10 and up

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