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Icefall Hardcover – October 1, 2011
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A 2012 Edgar Award Winner for Best Juvenile Mystery
A 2011 Agatha Award Nominee
New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing
2012 ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults
Judy Lopez Memorial Award Winner
"[O]ne of the best reads of the season . . ." --DESERET NEWS
"[A] claustrophobic, thought-provoking coming-of-age adventure . . ." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"[A] taut, compelling mystery and survival story . . . Readers will be left thinking about this one long after the chill has left their bones." --BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS
"[A] superb mystery enriched with powerful, believable characters, plot, and setting, and guarantees that readers will be thoroughly engaged to the final word." --BOOKS TO BORROW, BOOKS TO BUY, Nationally Syndicated Column
"Interesting, well-developed characters abound. . . . [and] the chilly, claustrophobic, ancient setting is vividly created." --KIRKUS REVIEWS
Praise for THE CLOCKWORK THREE
"In this riveting historical fantasy . . . debut novelist Kirby has assembled all the ingredients for a rousing adventure, which he delivers with rich, transporting prose. Mixing fantasy and steampunk elements with subtle urban mythology, Kirby's immersive story can be read as a modern morality play or a satisfying stand-alone tale." --PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review
"[M]emorable characters, hearty action, and palpable atmospherics." --BOOKLIST
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
It's tough being the middle child. Solveig knows this, but it doesn't make her life any easier. Neither a beauty like her older sister Asa nor . . . well . . . male like her younger brother Harald, Solveig has never attracted the attention of her father, the king. Now with their nation at war, the three children have been sent to a distant mountain fortress to wait out the days until the battle's end. As they wait they are joined by their father's guard, the highly unreliable and frightening berserkers.Read more ›
Solveig is a brave girl, but humble and unaware of her true potential. It's soon apparent that she's a talented storyteller, so she begins to apprentice with her father's bard. This is when Kirby shows his talent, weaving Scandinavian folklore into applicable stories in a beautiful and poignant way.
This coming-of-age tale is dramatic and thrilling. Readers of all ages should enjoy this fascinating story of honor, betrayal, and mystery. By the end, I was completely enveloped in Solveig's story and was swept away. This impressive sophomore novel is a standalone Nordic tale with the feel of an endearing fairy tale. Icefall is easily one of my favorite novels this year.
Amid the several highly anticipated children's and YA works this year by big names such as Suzanne Collins and Rick Riordan, one can be forgiven for missing the entry onto the stage of Matthew Kirby's first novel, The Clockwork Three. Forgiven, but no longer excused, for among all those much more hyped releases (though they are often justifiably hyped), this stands out as among the best. There. Now you know. You should get it. '
One might imagine, therefore, that Kirby's second novel, entitled Icefall, would have a difficult time matching the quality of the first. Darned if he didn't just do it though. Before I'd even finished it, Icefall was already on my list of top ten YA novels for 2011 and by the time I was done, as I suspected might happen, it made its way to my top ten fantasy novels in general. And fair warning to all those books coming out in the last few months: it's going to be hard to knock Icefall out of either list. Now you know. You should get it.
According to its publisher, Icefall is a Middle Grade book, for ages 8-12. I can tell you my nine-year-old son loved it, devouring it in a single sitting. I'll just point out, however, that I did the same (age 49) as did my wife (age 46). In other words, don't let its targeted age group deter you from picking it up; Icefall is easily better than 95 percent of the non-YA fantasy novels I've read this year. Easily.
The time period is ancient Norway and the only setting is a small fortress where a Viking king has sent his three children (Harald the young prince; Asa, the beautiful older daughter; and Solveig, the plain-looking overlooked middle child) for safety before he heads off to battle a rival warlord.Read more ›
Matthew J. Kirby
Published February 1, 2013
Paperback, 321 pages
Trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen sea, princess Solveig, along with her brother the crown prince, their older sister, and an army of restless warriors, anxiously awaits news of her father's victory at battle. But as winter stretches on, and the unending ice refuses to break, terrible acts of treachery soon make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst. Those charged with protecting the king's children are all suspect, and the siblings must choose their allies wisely. But who can be trusted so far from their father's watchful eye? Can Solveig and her siblings survive the long winter months and expose the murderer before he succeeds in destroying a kingdom?
Quick and Dirty: This story is for anyone who loves tales of Vikings and the lore that goes with them. It's a story of finding one's self, danger, betrayal, and courage.
Opening Sentence: The fjord is freezing over.
This story is about a Viking princess named Solveig who does not believe she has anything that makes her special and how she finds herself. Solveig's older sister Asa, is very beautiful and Solveig cannot compare to her beauty and their younger brother Harald, is strong and brave. When the three of them are sent to a hidden fortress to protect them from Gunnlaug, a man who would do anything to marry Asa, and steal their father's land. Solveig learns she can be more than she thought. Unfortunately someone that was sent to protect them is a traitor and Solveig has to help keep everyone safe and happy.
I had a hard time starting this book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A lyrical coming-of-age story interwoven with mystery and mythology, masterfully crafted.Published 14 days ago by Kimi Pieper
I enjoyed this book. It's unique and it was refreshing to read something different.Published 1 month ago by Bibliophagist
First off, know that this is a stand-alone book, not book 4 in some other series. Don't let the title on this product page fool you! Read morePublished 1 month ago by Thistle
I like this book because it was a mystery. I like the part when Hake gave Solveig the raven and Solveig named the raven after Odens raven. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ben Jones
I don't usually like introspective books, with little action, so although well written, the beginning was slow for me. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
The book might be fine, but the copy I received was messed up from page 87 to 118. I didn't notice when I got it and now that a student finally read it, it's too late to return... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Karen K. Johnson
Icefall is a Great intense story that has increasing action and a great plot line. It is about a king who has ventured out to battle a new foe,and sent his royal... Read more
I can honestly say this is one of my favorite books! I love the side stories and the inner conflict that mingled with the external onesPublished 15 months ago by Mooney500