Winner of the 2012 Edgar Award (Best Juvenile Mystery)

Written by Matthew J. Kirby

Solveig, Harald, & Asa, children of a king, are sent to a remote destination for their safety. But it turns out that their protectors might not be as loyal as the king had thought. During a long, cold, winter, with nothing to entertain but stories from the skalds (storytellers/historians), we learn of their traditions, beliefs, and relationships with each other. Who is the traitor in their midst? Just when you think you have an idea, another story is told that places doubt.

Although the story drags a bit in the middle, the storytelling is seamless, and the characters are so well developed that you feel you know them. Solvieg’s story has the feel of a mellow ballad that crescendos to an unforgettable finale. “And how I fear that day, for I know that when I look into my betrayer’s face, I will see someone I thought I knew. And I will still love them.”

Review by Christine Fotheringham, Rolling Meadows Elem. Media Center
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-9

Written by Matthew J. Kirby
325 pages
Release Date: October 1, 2011
ISBN: 9780545274241 (hardcover)

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