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Riddle of the Runes Paperback – July 19, 2018
"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
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About the Author
television and radio since 2010. She also has a weekly podcast Art Detectives produced by History Hit. She lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, son, daughter, and two cats. When she gets a quiet moment (rarely!) she likes to grow veg, listen to audiobooks, and watch old episodes of Inspector
David grew up in West Sussex, reading a lot, drawing a lot, and messing about in rivers a lot. Nothing has changed much, except that he does them all on Dartmoor now. He also enjoys playing music, cycling, dancing Argentinian Tango, and growing things to eat.
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Most such books involve lone warriors or longship crews, exploring new lands, battles and wars, slaves and treasure hoards. A few and only a few feature women or girls.
This story features 2... A daughter and mother.
This story involves a pair of strangers from a foreign land, a talking raven, a pet wolf and a set of runes that only certain people can read the meaning behind. Also kidnapping, a small fight, religious sacrifices, fear, family history and memories.
It is a brilliant unique down to earth insight into the Viking world the way the Vikings saw themselves without the tint of Christianity or Anglo-Saxon heritage.
It shows the pride they had for themselves in apparance, possessions, wealth, status, success in exploration and raiding and trading and craftsmanship...
It has a real sense of danger, drama, fear but also of bravery, love, trust and gutsyness.
The illustrations that accompany the story are superb and really bring the whole adventure to life and a lot of the objects, including the key piece of the rune puzzle are in fact real life artefacts found during excavations and can be seen in various local or national museums.
It is an excellent book for children (age 10+) especially if parents read it to them for some scenes amongst the family are great at helping children understand the protectiveness of parents but equally help parents understand the children's need to do things, within reason, for themselves.
I think the theme of family is what really won the book a place on my favourites shelf. Many Vikingy stories involve family usually revolving around revenge or the desire to improve a families reputation and often through the means of earning fame and glory away from home. This book really shines a light on the family of those who go a-Viking and most significantly that there is adventure to be had without crossing the seas.
I adored every chapter and illustration and Alva is now my favourite Viking girl and I am delighted that we will get to follow at least two more of her adventures in new books.
A stellar debut from my favourite TV historian. Bravo Janina Bravo!
I'm 48 and this brought out my inner child. It's full of plots and it deals with difficult topics. And all the while it gives a rich knowledge of the Viking way of life. When I was a child all I ever known was that the Vikings came, killed and raped and took everything. And never to hear that they had lives, loves and passions. So this really is a perfect book for readers of all ages.
What also struck me in this book is that Dr Janina was certainly not lazy in her presentation. You are shown the runes and then how they are translated with all the complexities that invariably follow.
Oh, and the illustrations are beautiful.
What a wonderful book. I can't wait to read book two.
(I may be slightly biased, as my roots are slightly Viking);
but even so, I think that many others will admire it,
and hence *this* little saga here, to tempt you to acquire it.
The tale concerns a Viking youngster - Alva is her name:
she wonders if she might achieve Lagertha's mighty fame;
she also has a taste for knowledge, *and* investigation
- two factors which might set her on some *other* destination;
the further tale you really should discover for yourself,
in any case, I recommend you have it on your shelf!