The third in a four-part Viking-era adventure pits four young Greenlanders against both a howling gale and a crew of brutal pirates.
Signs of spring coming to his adopted Arctic send Leiv, his Inuit brother-and-sister companions Apuluk and Narua, and rescued serf Sølvi sledding northward in search of the vanished chieftain Thorstein. Cann's frequent vignettes of people and wildlife add graceful visual notes to Riel's vivid depiction of life in this harsh ("They hammered blubber for the lamps....") but often beautiful setting. The explorers weather a journey highlighted by a violent, two-day storm, followed by an equally violent battle aboard an iced-in British longship after Leiv and Apuluk are captured. The return home is made even more joyous when the closely bonded quartet stages a double elopement to kick off a second trek north in search of a passage to the fabled country to the west.
Fledgling readers will enjoy this simply told, visually appealing historical tale, though starting with the first two episodes will make it easier to follow the developing characters and storyline. (Historical fiction. 9-11)