Yep, I got stuck with another young adult book, but this time, I consider myself lucky for this book was a real pleasure to read. When my sons are old enough, this might be one of the first stories I would consider reading to them. Anders did a good deal of research into Norse mythology and it shows. The book is well crafted and moves past the young age it is geared toward to and can be an enjoyable story across readers of any age.
The plot centers around Karn and Thianna a twelve year old northern boy and a thirteen year old half-Frost Giant girl. Karn would rather play the board game Thrones and Bones then learn how to fill his father's shoes, while Thianna feels like a small outsider with her mere seven foot height.
Things get serious quickly, when Karn's uncle tricks him into a trying to make a deal with an undead ship captain and ends up getting his father turned to stone. Thianna also becomes hunted by her dead mother's past. Both children are forced to flee, but luckily find each other in the wilds. Together they attempt to use their strengths to work as a team to fight off their enemies and perhaps gain justice.
It is hard to say more about the plot without giving some of the fun away, because this book is fun. I think parents could consider giving this to any child eight and up without much worry, although there are a few scary parts for younger readers, but if they can make it through Harry Potter novels they would be fine.
Not too much to throw stones at here, but some of the outcomes do seem a little obvious to the reader. For instance Karn's uncle just seems untrustworthy from his first scene. Yet, Karn is surprised that his uncle could have motives to do him harm. Also since they were younger kids some chance for battling was diminished.
As said, this is an inventive YA tale that parents can enjoy too. I found myself reading quickly because I did want to see how things ended up for these two children. They were kind caring individuals and if you are not careful you might find yourself with a few tear jerking moments. I hope we will see more of Karn's and Thianna's adventures.Michael D. Griffiths