Tor, Aug 2004, 27.95, 464 pp.
At the top of the world, Norseman Eyvind met and married local Celtic seer Princess Nessa, but the couple and their loyal followers had to struggle to survive the betrayal of his best friend Somerled (see WOLFSKIN). Several years have passed since Somerled was exiled.
Widow Margaret raised her son Thorvald. He learns that his biological father was not his mother's deceased husband, but instead is the traitor Somerled. Needing to learn more about his patriarchal heritage, Thorvald goes on a quest to find his sire while wondering if he might be a murderous chip off the old block.
Sam the fisherman takes him to look for his father, but at sea both are shocked to find a stowaway, the daughter of Eyvind and Nessa, Creidhe, who loves Thorvald. When they are shipwrecked on an island beyond the known world, Asgrim, leader of the Seal People, provides hospitality to the trio. The tribe has terrible troubles as a malevolent force is killing their newborns. Everyone feels Asgrim's son caused the curse when he kidnapped the prophet the Foxmask. Believing that Asgrim is Somerled, Thorvald joins their cause not knowing what the islanders plan to do to Creidhe.
This sequel starts fast with the sea voyage, decelerates to introduce several subplots on the island of the Seal People, but then picks up speed when the various storylines converge. Thorvald is an intriguing soul struggling to find his identity. Creidhe is his key causing Thorvald to choose between his father and the young woman he loves. By moving to another locale, introducing a new tribe and the next generation, Juliet Marillier furbishes a fresh tale in her medieval Nordic world.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner