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Book of 2009: 12 - Chilperic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Chilperic

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Book of 2009: 12 [Feb. 14th, 2009|01:53 pm]
Chilperic
On the way over to Boskone, another Jonathan Stroud: this one read on the page instead of through the IPod, although a scrappy Courier-fonted proof copy rather than a "real" book. This was Stroud's Heroes of the Valley (2009). It is the story of Halli, growing up in the Valley surrounded by stories of the heroes, like Svein. Each chapter starts with a brief exploit from Svein, in a wonderful mock-Norse style, before moving to the adventures of the young Halli. Svein has defended the Valley from the Trows (= trolls), so successfully that the Trows are no more seen. The age of the heroes is over. Or is it...!

All the character-names are from the Icelandic sagas, and the world is very like that of the Icelandic sagas, with Gatherings instead of Althings and so on. There is no sea, though, so if it is intended as an historical reconstruction then it must be Norway; but more likely it is intended as a fantasy variant of Icelandic life. Halli is a trouble-maker, and articulate with it; a beautifully realised character. And this book held me enthralled from beginning to end. Highly recommended.
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