Icefall is a YA adventure thriller set in ancient Nordic times by Matthew J. Kirby.
Solveig was no happier than anyone else when her father the king sent her, her brother the crown prince, her beautiful older sister, members of the household staff and an army of soldiers to a concealed fortress tucked between mountains and ice. It’s a cold, lonely, and unpleasantly long winter.
Yet the king set them there for their safety, as a sudden war was upon them. But their safety may or may not be what they’ll find in the fortress. Solveig’s sister has been quiet and guarded since they’d arrived, and when suddenly an act of betrayal leaves them shocked in its wake – the conclusion is that there is a traitor in their midst.
It could be that instead of hiding the royal children from the kingdom’s enemies, they might be tucked in close with them – sitting ducks in an increasingly claustrophobic environment. Suddenly the many ways that they can be killed seem numerous – and there is no escape from the ice that closes them in. Their protection may be their grave.
Solveig has never been considered much as the middle child of the king – not beautiful like her sister or the heir like her brother oftentimes she was simply overlooked. But she is determined to find the traitor among them and help those she loves survive the winter months.
Though her greatest fear gnaws at her: what if the conspirator is among one of those she loves?
Icefall was unlike any other book I’ve read – a sweeping, vivid, icy Nordic tale. It was far more intimate than I initially expected, a heart wrenching coming-of-age story of learning who you are and where you might fit in a world that doesn’t seem to care you exist - in the epicenter of war, treachery, and assassination.
Solveig’s personal journey and the gripping, nail-biting sense of suspicion and secrets create a unique historical novel that is powerful and impressive for any age. Icefall is very effective and extraordinarily different – and (*minor plot spoiler alert*) certainly a killer for animal lovers!
Icefall is a compelling, moody, atmospheric tale of loyalty, heroism and courage that lingers in your mind.
I hope it will soon linger in yours!