Last night, as my daughter-in-law lay counting her contractions, I thought I'd share the storyline of Icefall by Matthew J. Kirby. After all, in Icefall, the narrator, Princess Solveig, finds meaning in learning the role of storyteller, or skald. She uses her stories to calm angry warriors and soothe the sick. At one point, she tries to frighten her family's enemy with a story. How could I, a storyteller, not love this book?
My DIL asked me, "Are you still reading kids books?" I think, she meant, "Now that you are retired..." But kids' books are my passion. With books as well-written, exciting and, yes, even thoughtful, as Icefall, how could I not "still read kids' books"?
(BTW, my DIL, after 26 hours of labor, gave birth to the most perfect baby girl in the history of time - which is what I guess all grandmothers have said throughout the history of time. THEY were all wrong.)
Here is a little more about the book. Solveig has been sent with her older sister, Princess Asa, and her younger brother, Crown Prince Harald, along with a handful of retainers and warriors to an isolated holding at the end of a fjord to wait out their father's most recent war. Winter freezes them in. A company of berserkers and their father's skald or court storyteller, soon joins them. And then treachery strikes. Who among them is the traitor? Will they survive the winter? Sprinkled with Norse mythology throughout, this is an exciting, well-written novel for middle school age and up.