IcefallIcefall by Matthew J. Kirby

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen sea, Solveig, along with her brother the crown prince, their older sister, and an army of restless warriors, anxiously awaits news of her father’s victory at battle. But as winter stretches on, and the unending ice refuses to break, terrible acts of treachery soon make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst. A malevolent air begins to seep through the fortress walls, and a smothering claustrophobia slowly turns these prisoners of winter against one another.

Those charged with protecting the king’s children are all suspect, and the siblings must choose their allies wisely. But who can be trusted so far from their father’s watchful eye? Can Solveig and her siblings survive the long winter months and expose the traitor before he succeeds in destroying a kingdom?

It might be the hormones, but I cried about 3 times while reading this book. Solveig is the plain second daughter of a king who is sent to a fjord with her family and a small group of people to wait out the winter – and her father’s war. Right before the ice freezes for the winter and makes escape impossible, her father’s Berserkers lands. Fortunately they bring supplies to help last the winter, but they also bring suspicion. The Berserkers are not trusted among Solveig’s people.

This is a coming of age story done written in the first person present tense. I usually hate reading books written like this, but the stories of her family that start each new chapter and culminates near the end of the book makes the fact that the action is happening, right now, that much more urgent.

I couldn’t put the book down. I cried when Solveig cried, I felt betrayed for her and I reveled in her joy. Not many authors can do that to me and I rush through books more often than not. But this one had me paying close attention to every look and every word spoken.

I was suspicious of everyone towards the end and definitely did not see the twist coming. AT.ALL.

There was some slight mysticism that occurs with Solveig’s dream that seem odd with the rest of the story, but I can see how Kirby used it as a driving point for the plot. Because from the beginning you know something is not right.

I highly recommend this book for all those that love coming of age stories and books with strong female characters. and of course, all those that love the Norse.

Safe Reading!

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