|This story starts with a bang, or in this case, a blaze! Our heroine, Odaria, is about to be burned at the stake for being a witch. There are other reasons actually, but we don't learn them until well into the story. And so Odaria, like any good witch, calls a curse onto the villagers and it just happens to bring Vikings. The leader of said invaders is Rothgar (the Ruthless) who was ordered to take a group of Vikings to find Orvind, his cousin. Keep in mind, this is set in Scotland 80. AD, and while Christianity wasn't at its peak, it was beginning to spread. This is not a witch-burning, bible-thumping book.
Odaria was obviously having a bad day, week, month and possibly year. Rothgar was the only one amongst the Vikings who could understand at least some of the language of the villagers. Everyone seemed to be terrified of the witch. Rothgar and Odaria were very attracted to each other, he protected her, and tried to find his cousin. All the rest of the Vikings were a tad disgruntled since they would have preferred to be off somewhere raping and pillaging instead of searching a small island for traces of Orvind and his ship.
Ms. Wilkins crafted a wonderful story. I liked the combination of learning to love and trust each other between Rothgar and Odaria as well as showing us when she used her powers, she scared everyone. The villains of this story, the Vikings and the villagers, are all just scared people. The main villain was Brennan who seemed to be the leader of the village and the church. I especially loved the berserkrs, specifically Nordskog who was their leader. This book kept me engrossed from start to finish, wondering what was going to happen and if Odaria's visions are really correct. What a great read!
Reviewer: Teresa T.
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