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Erinland Paperback – January 26, 2017
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The story moves along through the points of view of one of the three most important characters. When Amy and Richard land in their respective, opposing villages, they are fully embraced. Both are long-awaited reincarnations of gods of the time. We’d expect the teenagers to feel displaced and confused, but they adapt quickly.
Berryman provides much in the way of Viking history, landscape, and relic description. Erinland is driven by her vast interest in these. We learn much lore through the tale of these ordinary, troubled children endowed with extraordinary powers from the glorious beings they represent. Berryman’s depictions of the cultures during the time are lovely and detailed as she describes their villages, clothing, and lifestyles. “The kransen, a gilt circlet worn on the head by unmarried girls, is removed from the young bride to be. It is a symbol of her virginity. The kransen is wrapped up by the bride’s attendants and put away until the birth of her eldest daughter who it will pass to.” (Page 194).
In Berryman’s desire to share her knowledge, she writes long monologues. These establish her as a credible authority on ancient history, but do so at the expense of natural dialogue. After suddenly being transported in time, the three primary characters are plunked down and force-fed tons of information. “Richard listened closely to Vagn as he spoke. It was a lot of information to absorb.” (Page 325).
The lack of meaningful exchanges sacrifices character development. This is particularly true for Amy, but less so for Richard. Relating to the characters is essential for us to want to read on.
Because war is the foundation of the plot, we may find it difficult to suspend belief when we are told the teens can learn how to become warriors in a few afternoons. Berryman relies upon descendent memory to take care of the problem. “Familiarise yourself with our ways. Your memories will return. A son of Odin retains his father’s essence and with it his memories and might.” (Page 183).
In the end Erinland is a fascinating story that fuses mythology with well-choreographed battle scenes.
The world-building is very well done in this book, the characters are well-developed and so very unique with their own individual personalities that bring a lot of spark to the page. You will not be displeased with Erinland, I highly recommend this book!
I will admit upfront that this book was not for me, as it is not my normal fair for reading. As Kathryn is a friend of mine I pushed through the book and I will now give you my honest opinion.
Eirnland started off slow, it set up the two major characters in opposite directions and then proceeded to add more characters. For me this was a little frustrating as I either wanted the writer to go back to the character she had just set up and done a wonderful job of making me like them.
Kathryn does a wonderful job of painting vivid locations that I could almost touch with her words, at times I wished she would get on with the fighting. I was rewarded or my faith with a battle that surpassed my longings gave me a happy buzz of satisfaction. When the big fight came, and you knew it was coming, it was great with people dying all over the place and the heroes being true to themselves. The heroes reacted as you would imagine they would from the great character building that she did throughout the book.
On top of this, she did a great job of mixing her story into the law of the country and making the characters feel like they were actually becoming the law rather than echoing it.
This book was not to my taste but if you love great vivid locations and wonderfully created characters that you can invest in, this is the book for you.
I find your style flowing and interesting - clearly you have some deep scholarly understanding of your chosen period.
Will pick up again soon!