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THE SCALER OF THE PEAKS by Karin Erlandsson


From the Song of the Eye Stone series, volume 3

by Karin Erlandsson ; translated by Annie Prime

Pub Date: June 6th, 2024
ISBN: 9781915568144
Publisher: Young Dedalus

The search for a wishing stone takes three searchers deep into a mountain’s mines and caves.

The eye stone, “the mother of all pearls,” will satisfy one’s desires, but it also bears a curse: It’s said that those who seek it will be consumed by this goal, just like the parents of traveling companions and former pearl fishers Miranda and Syrsa. As the only one who can hear the fabled pearl call out from where it’s been hidden by Iberis, its evil possessor, Syrsa leads the way through a dark tangle of tunnels and caverns as Miranda and medicine woman Lydia struggle to keep up. They must barter for supplies from the mountain’s residents. Meanwhile, deeper struggles are brewing: Lydia and Syrsa seek the stone to destroy it, but though she denies it to herself, Miranda is consumed with a burning desire to own and use it that sometimes seems stronger than her love for Syrsa. Erlandsson’s worldbuilding and the characterization of the supporting cast are just sketched out; the plot has slow stretches, too. Still, as a narrator Miranda continues to be refreshingly prickly, and despite heartbreaking events, the climax sets up terrible conflicts to be resolved in the next and final volume of this quartet from Finland that’s been translated from the original Swedish. Both Miranda and Syrsa lost an arm to sharks when they were younger; the cast is cued white.

Moves the quest along, notwithstanding a mild case of middle-volume-itis.

(Fantasy. 9-12)