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by L.K. Hill

Pub Date: July 2nd, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-984538-04-8
Publisher: Xlibris US

A Norse tribe seeks opportunities and justice in the Old World and New in the second novel in a series.

Frey, the protagonist of Hill’s Freys Saga (2012), is now married, with a pregnant wife, Cassandra, the daughter of the widowed Trygve, the jarl, or ruler. The village is raided by the evil Magnus, and Cassandra is kidnapped, setting Frey on a quest to get her back. Meanwhile, Frey’s friend Auger has grown tired of the raiding life, and he and his family leave Norway and sail west, winding up in what will become the Maritime Provinces of Canada. There they meet the Mi’qmak, a tribe that proves welcoming—so welcoming, in fact, that intermarriage soon takes place. Magnus sells Cassandra to a trader who in turn gives her to his brother, Cole, an innkeeper in England and a good man. Frey travels to France and reverts for years to his previous life as a monk, praying that he will find Cassandra. Finally, miraculously, Frey reconnects with Cassandra (who has stayed faithful) and meets his son, Brian. The family ends up in the New World along with Auger and his new Mi’qmak acquaintances. Many readers will figure out early on that things will pretty much end well—and this novel won’t disappoint those looking for a happy ending. Bad guys are no match in a fight with good guys, lucky coincidences abound, and aged patriarchs usually die peacefully in bed, gravid with honors. It’s a romanticized view of Norse life and one hampered by clichés such as “love of his life,” “spread like wildfire,” and “stopped dead in his tracks.” Hill also keeps such a tight rein on her characters that her narrative might have held more interest if she’d taken a more adventurous approach and allowed them sometimes to rebel. That said, what some readers will find manipulative and cloying others will find heartfelt and heartwarming.

A good—if unsurprising—alternative to relentlessly brutal Viking sagas.