“A sense of menace grew on me all morning. A shadow of approaching doom. That was the first warning…”
Stolen from her family by a cruel Viking chieftain, Thora’s future looks bleak. Yet Thora has visions, and in one she foresees a daring escape with a new companion. Seizing this chance involves stealing a ship bound for Iceland – but someone must die.
The journey is dangerous, and a fateful encounter will change the course of their lives. Soon Thora will know hardship and the bitterness of forbidden love. And all the while she and her new-found companion fear their crimes may catch up with them….
This novel was inspired by the Icelandic sagas which I first read and loved many years ago. They made me long to visit Iceland where they are mostly set. It took a very long time for me to fulfil the dream of a trip to Iceland, but I finally visited twice. The first trip was in 2006, when I began researching Daughter of Fire and Ice. I went again for a six-week stay in 2007. I travelled extensively, visiting saga sites, exhibitions, museums, longhouse reconstructions, glaciers, volcanoes and waterfalls. I even went to a Viking market near Akureyri in the north of Iceland. It was a truly awe-inspiring trip and I hope that I have captured some of that magical land in this story.
Rather than rewrite an existing saga as other authors have chosen to do, I have used fictional characters to create a new story of a family feud. Blood feuds, and the obligation to take vengeance if your family honour had been compromised, were an important feature of Iceland’s early history, and such feuds form the central tragedy in sagas such as Njal’s Saga.
This is a tale of the beginning of a family feud, and it is also the story of survival in a new and harsh environment. It’s set in the late 800s AD, when the settlement of Iceland had only just begun. Thora the healer and her companions are true pioneers, setting sail to an almost unknown land.
This is also a love story.
Daughter of Fire and Ice is published by the Oxford University Press.
Read more about Daughter of Fire and Ice at Lovereading4kids.co.uk