It's Book Review Wednesday, my favorite day of the week! Today, we're headed back to the world of fantasy…
Greeta doesn’t remember the Northlands because her father and aunt escaped its collapse, sailing across the great ocean soon after Greeta’s birth. So why does this place she can’t remember haunt her? And why does her family tell her so little about her missing mother?
Greeta knows she shouldn’t complain. Her family lives in peace in the Great Turtle Lands with native villagers, people who look nothing like Greeta and her Northlander family. Although she longs to be married and have children, her sweetheart is balking. Something is wrong, and Greeta suspects it’s because she looks nothing like any of the young women in her village. Instead of being petite and dark like them, Greeta is tall and pale.
For the first time in her life, Greeta realizes she has nowhere to fit in. And she could be facing a lonely life without love or a family of her own.
The appearance of a shaman in her village changes everything. The shaman insists Greeta must learn to walk in the Dreamtime because dark days approach and a key to the survival of all people in the Great Turtle Lands will be a gift that Greeta doesn’t yet know she has. Convinced she no longer belongs in her own village, Greeta leaves with the shaman.
But the travels beyond the village Greeta has always known and loved soon become perilous. Separated from her shaman guide, Greeta is captured and delivered to a powerful leader, Finehurst, a Northlander like herself. Attracted to him, Greeta wonders if he could be the love of her life. At the same time, she has heard others gossip about Finehurst’s desire to find other Northlanders and bring them under his control. She worries about protecting the family she left behind. Greeta must find a way to uncover Finehurst’s true nature and mission while at the same time keeping her last hope for love alive.
My Review: 3 Stars
I was looking forward to reading this book after the author sent me a copy, but I was a bit disappointed when I opened it.
I have no complaints about the story. A girl who feels like an outsider among her own people, trying to find a way to fit in. It's a classic tale that we can all relate to.
Sadly, there is no real "hook" to make me interested in Greeta. The opening was slow, with nothing gripping to pull me into the world.
The world--that's another thing I found hard to enjoy. It feels like it's set in a Native American village before the first colonials, with the main character being half-Viking (Leif Ericson discovered the New World). But it was just too vague and ill-defined for me to get a real sense of the world.
I loved the way the author approached the "magic" of the world in the same way the Native Americans believed it. There is a lot of interaction with nature, and the characters' reverence for nature provided them with a rudimentary magic system.
The writing style was a bit amateur, with a lot of run-on sentences, iffy sentence structure, lacking punctuation, etc. Not a bad book, just one that failed to hit the mark--in my opinion, of course!
Here's a Taste:
For as long as she could remember, Papa had told her the story of how they came to the Great Turtle Lands with Auntie Peppa in a beautiful wooden ship shaped like a fearsome sea dragon. They described its long and wide overlapping planks, curving gracefully to shape the dragon’s curled head and matching tail raised high and ready to strike while slicing through the icy waters of the great, wide ocean. Her father claimed they’d sailed from the opposite side of the ocean where he and her mother had been blacksmiths in a land full of dragons and brigands and ghosts. He’d been separated from Auntie Peppa for many years because she’d run away to seek safety in the Boglands, a place in the farthest North where she’d worked gathering iron to be smelted.
The way Papa told the story, when they’d landed here on this beach, Killing Crow waited in the tall grasses, ready to kill them because he believed they came to threaten the people of the Shining Star Nation. Papa said Greeta saved all of their lives that day because she ran on her toddler legs to Killing Crow and won his heart.
Of course, Killing Crow told the story differently. He admitted he’d witnessed signs that danger would come, and he prepared himself to defend his people. But he would look at Greeta with a reverence she didn’t understand. He’d then say he saw how remarkable and special Greeta was, claiming that she would someday hold a unique place in the hearts of the Shining Star people. Killing Crow would then wink and say what truly melted his heart was the moment he saw Auntie Peppa and knew he’d found the love of his life.
Greeta thought they all exaggerated her importance. After all, she’d been a little girl at the time. What could she have done that was so special?
Out of habit she touched the pendant she wore on a slim leather thong around her neck. All people in the Shining Star Nation wore a token representing their name. All tokens were carved from stone, but Greeta’s was a combination of stone and silver. Papa had made a tiny sword from one of his silver rings he’d brought from the old country, half the length of her littlest finger. Uncle Killing Crow had fashioned and attached wings of stone to the sword, which served as the body of a dragonfly.
About the Author:
Resa Nelson is the author of seven novels including her newest book, Dragonfly, Book 1 in her new Dragonfly series. She is also the author of the Dragonslayer series: The Dragonslayer's Sword (EPPIE Award finalist), The Iron Maiden, The Stone of Darkness, and The Dragon's Egg. Our Lady of the Absolute is a stand-alone fantasy/mystery about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Her other stand-alone novel, All Of Us Were Sophie, is a science fiction mystery about a woman who duplicates herself in an effort to escape being murdered. Her short fiction has been published in Women of Darkness II, Jane Yolen’s 2041 anthology, Future Boston, Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress XXIII (Waters, ed.), Science Fiction Age, Fantasy, and many other magazines and anthologies. Nelson is a member of Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) and is a 1985 Clarion graduate.
Find the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dragonfly-Book-One-Resa-Nelson-ebook/dp/B00SZDIGYG/
Read her thoughts on her website: resanelson.com
Tweet at her:@ResaNelson