A White Horizon

Barbara Gaskell

In all of Skarga’s 19 years, she has never known love - only hate, derision and cruelty.   Accused of being a witch by her family and blamed for every bad event that happens in her village, her only joy comes from the young child she has found and nurtured like her own. Egil is the reason she fights to stay alive. When her father hires an assassin to abduct and kill her, Egil stays by her side.  Little do they know, however, that all is not as it seems.  Not understanding her fate, Skarga escapes but loses Egil and is left in the hands of a brutal master.  Is there any way to find Egil again or will her life be forfeit under hands even worse than her father's?

What a heart-wrenching yet enthralling tale! It is both brutal and beautiful.  The writing flows with a flair of the historical Norse while keeping the fantasy aspect alive. It does slow at times and the reader must pay attention, but the author’s sheer story-telling ability lends itself to an all-night read.  Skarga’s tale is frustrating, heart-breaking, but ultimately inspiring.  The male characters follow much of the attitudes held in Viking times and are very hard to like - even those who might be the heroes.  However, this just allows Skarga’s character to shine brighter as she struggles to do right, survive and conquer.  For anyone yearning for a fantasy saga that is gripping to the core, this one assuredly delivers!

Ruth Lynn Ritter