Wisniewski's The Warrior and the Wise Man (1989) was an extraordinarily accomplished debut; here, he creates another original story based on legend--an Icelandic tale about a girl, Elfwyn, blind since birth because her father, Antar, was cursed by Gorm, a warlike Viking who coveted Antar's fertile settlement. When Gorm brings an apparently conciliatory gift--a pillar of crystal that destroys prosperity when ""each member of the household received a vision of a wish unearned or a dream unattainable""--Elfwyn is protected from the false visions by her blindness; always self-reliant, she contrives to haul the crystal to its destruction, restoring her family's good fortune. An excellent note explains the author's historical sources, which he has blended skillfully into his lively story. His unique cut-paper illustrations, in brilliant yet subtle colors, ate both decorative and powerful, vibrant with action yet delicately expressive. A beautifully wrought book.