Reviewer Amy Lignor: Amy is the author of a historical fiction novel entitled The Heart of a Legend, and Mind Made, a work of science fiction. Presently, she is writing an adventure series set in the New York Public Library, as well as a teen fiction series, The Angel Chronicles. She is an avid traveler and has been fortunate to have journeyed across the USA, where she has met the most amazing people, who truly bring life and soul to her books. She lives in the Land of Enchantment (for now) with her gorgeous daughter, Shelby, her wonderful Mom, Mary, and the greatest friend and critic in the entire world - her dog, Reuben
Author: Janni Lee Simner
This is a wonderfully engrossing, action-filled young adult novel based on an Icelandic tale of sorcery.
As we begin this story, we are met with Hallgerd. Hallgerd was trained by a very powerful sorcerer and has grown to house inside her soul the most powerful magic in the world. What she wants more than anything is to “trade” places with one of her ancestors – by using a magic coin. As she stares into the future, she looks through thirty generations of her daughters, seeking the one who will not turn away from her call, but take her up on her offer, so that she can be free.
In present day Iceland, sixteen-year-old Haley and her father are walking through the frozen world to try and discover what really happened a year ago when Haley’s mother just up and disappeared. Her parents had been in Iceland working on geological studies when they’d had a fight and Haley’s mother had run off…never to seen or heard from again. What Haley doesn’t realize is that a huge error in human judgment combined with an age-old magic was the cause of her mother being pulled from her life. And as she walks through the cold, seemingly heartless land, Haley stumbles across the frightening, unbelievably fantastical reason why her mother is no longer a part of her life.
Finding a mystical coin that was tossed from a sorceress into Haley’s present time, she begins having strange nightmares; rushes of intense heat through her body; and, thick clouds of fog that seem to envelop her and show her things that can not possibly be true. When she stumbles into a young man named Ari, while having a jog one morning, everything gets even more twisted in her life; especially when she first witnesses Ari turn from a young, handsome boy into a mighty polar bear before her very eyes. Haley finds herself falling off rock ledges into freezing cold waters, and waking up in a cave run by a raven who can speak by beating its’ wings – and a friendly, arctic fox named Freki, who will give up his life for a tasty mead and a debt of sincere friendship.
The writer has done an absolutely wonderful job bringing an old tale of witchcraft and wizardry to life on her pages. I was entranced with everything from the fantastical Icelandic scenery, which can go from mountains of glittering diamonds of ice beneath the bright sun, to a dark and frightening world that reminds you of a devil’s frozen lair. My favorite character is Freki, who children and adults of all ages are going to wish they had as a pet in their home. I am a “new” fan of Ms. Simner. I think her writing is out of this world descriptive, and the story will keep you on the edge of your seat.