Saturday, May 12, 2012

Peaceweaver by Rebecca Barnhouse

Hild is the sister-daughter of King Ragnar of the Shyflings.  She was a favorite of her uncle until the day she ran across a training field, controlled by a strange instinct, to keep her cousin, the heir to the throne, from being assassinated.  In doing so, she killed her cousin's would-be murderer with a borrowed sword without realizing what she was doing until it was over.  To Hild's surprise, her uncle is not pleased to have his heir safe, but instead is furious at her deed.  His adviser, Bragi, goes so far as to say she has been possessed by evil spirits, while others murmur of the gods chosen.  Because of the doubt that this possession is for good purposes, Hild must be exiled.  Ragnar decides to marry her off to the new king of the Geats.  On her journey to the Geats, Hild meets a terrifying monster, loses her maid, and learns that the union is a ploy. Her uncle plans to attack after the wedding, when the Geats feel secure.  Hild know that when he attacks, she will not be spared.  In only a few days, Hild must find a way to be a true peaceweaver between the two kingdoms.

Hope.  That is the feeling I had when I closed this book.  Hope and determination.  Hild was so brave to endure extreme hardships: from being accused of being possessed, to being attacked by a monster and losing her maid on a journey to be a false bargaining tool.  It wasn't her choice to be possessed, and the punishment is unfair, but Hild doesn't complain.  She simply does as she is told, hoping it will all end well.  Then she arrives in the land of the Geats, which has been ravaged by a dragon.  She almost runs from the small kingdom with so little to offer but decides to stay and help the new king rebuild his country and possibly make peace with hers.  Hild must have felt hope, determination and also a certainty that this was her home now.  This story attracted me because it supposedly involved Norse Mythology.  I was disappointed to learn the author only made use of the three most common gods and goddesses, but it was still a great story.  What more can I say?  It was an amazing and extraordinary story, the kind that makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time.  Thank you, Rebecca Barnhouse.

Reviewer Age:13
Reviewer City, State and Country: Lake City, IA USA