HUSH by Donna Jo Napoli
Kirkus Star

HUSH

An Irish Princess’ Tale
Age Range: 12 - 15
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Napoli takes the bare bones of a legend—Icelandic, tenth century this time—and clothes it in fire, flesh and blood. Melkorka is 15 and her sister Brigid eight when they are swept from their royal Irish parents and taken by a slave ship. When Brigid leaps overboard in a desperate move to escape, Mel—now called Aist, or stork, because she will not speak—focuses all her being on learning about the rough men who hold her. She learns from the other women—Irish, Norse, Baltic—and helps to care for other, terrified children. Her companions are sold, but fear of her unbroken silence keeps her until an Icelandic chieftain pays extravagantly. Readers, who know her every thought and wild feeling, will marvel at how she maintains that passionate muteness even as Hoskuld carries her, pregnant, to Iceland, through violence and storm. As always, Napoli is a spellbinding storyteller, her prose rich in details both tender and blood-soaked. From the texture of embroidery to the odor of sheep dung, her language is vivid, precise, cinematic. (Historical fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-689-86176-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2007




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