Title: A Shiver of Snow and Sky
Writer: Lisa Lueddecke
Publishing House: Scholastic Children’s Books
Date of Publication: October 5th 2017
Rating: 5 stars
‘’Though my soul may set in darkness, it
Will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly to be
Fearful of the night.’’
In a land that closely resembles the islands of Scandinavia and Iceland, the winter lights are harbingers of prosperity or doom. The red lights are omens of the plague, of decay and death, a threat unknown and unpredictable, a murderer that claims innocent lives, that separates mothers from their children. Ósa came into this world seventeen years ago when the plague last struck. Now, as the curse is ready to work its dark ways in her land, Ósa is determined to change the course of an unfair future. But there is one more threat hiding in the forests, an even greater threat than the red lights…
‘’Skane was built on superstition. Always enter your home right foot first. When you sneeze, someone who bears you ill will has just spoken your name. Don’t whistle while looking towards the sun or you might bring rain.
But mostly, the superstitions were about the lights. Bright, colourful lights that danced for us in the clear night sky.
Green was common. It meant the Goddess was happy, and everything was as it should be.
Blue meant snow, and lots of it. Best round up your sheep and haul in some firewood before those first few flurries started to fly.
And then there was red. Red was different, rarer.
Red was a warning.’’
Lisa Lueddecke creates an exciting adventure, based on our beloved Norse legends, focusing on the convictions associated with the Aurora Borealis and the mysterious creatures that find refuge in the caves of the frozen forests in the heart of Scandinavian Mythology. The first instalment in Ósa’s story showcases a world of old when myths are alive and heroines and heroes have to defy every hurdle and fight against lethal odds. There are mythical creatures, fascinating deities, enticing cultural elements but above all, there is the powerful depiction of the strength of the human spirit, the determination and bravery of a young woman, her intelligence, kindness and honesty, her fight to protect her loved ones.
This is a YA adventure that doesn’t insult the readers’ intelligence by wasting time in ridiculous relationships and even more hideous dialogue. This is a novel where we meet interesting characters in an exciting plot and a beautiful setting that will take you right into the heart of the Norse myths. I am really really looking forward to reading the second volume of Skane’s chronicle.
*If a certain plotline reminds of another plotline in a series of books that was turned into a successful TV series, it is because that particular writer who refuses to conclude his bloody work has borrowed elements from every myth of every culture of our world. And frankly, Tolkien did it first in a much better way than the writer who shall not be named here.’’
Rant ended. Sorry, not sorry.
‘’I cannot change history, but the future is still mine to live.’’