Catherine Fisher,
(Red Fox, 2003; Eos, 2004)

In a Norse-style fantasy, treachery and danger unfold in a glorious three-part adventure. The evil Sorceress-Queen Gudrun condemns Jessa and Thorkill to exile in the frozen prison of Thrasirshall. Gundrun's mysterious son, Kari, was sent there years before so that no man could see his monstrous face. The Jarl, ruler in little more than name, has little power against her and can only watch as more people are killed or exiled.

Jessa and Thorkill complete their journey, only to find that Kari is a scared, vulnerable victim. Shockingly, he is his mother's mirror, linked to her so greatly that he has become her strongest weakness. From there, the small band must try to defeat and banish Gudrun, restoring the rightful Jarl to power.

In a second adventure, a dangerous beast stalks the land, using the power of magic for destruction. Lastly, Gudrun spreads a devastating sickness that steals the souls of those she touches. Kari, Jessa and their friends must journey over the rainbow bridge to rescue the souls and battle Gudrun a final time.

Each adventure combines action with dazzling sorcery, creating an original frozen world from the classic elements of Celtic and especially Norse folklore.

The Snow-walker, Gudrun, is a truly creepy adversary for the brave Jessa and her friends. Gudrun and her mirror, Kari, continuously battle in a superb spectacle of epic fantasy. Meanwhile, Kari is wounded and human, yet gifted beyond all of his friends. Through his mixed heritage, he alone has the power to defeat Gudrun and her spells of frozen sickness forever.

- Rambles
written by Valerie Frankel
published 30 April 2005

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