"Penney's prose is rapturous, whether she is describing the 'overwhelmingly rich--glorious and unnecessary' landscape, or in her detailed and richly imagined passages on the attraction and intimacy between Flora and Jakob. By telling their story through recollection and the letters that they send, Penney imparts an additional layer of suspense, with neither the reader nor the characters knowing what may come, resulting in an exciting and transportive novel."
"A fascinating, mysterious historical novel about a female explorer in a world of men at the end of the nineteenth century. Under a Pole Star is an adventure, an illicit romance, and a life-defying exploration of a land most of us know nothing about. The contrast of the lovers' blazing relationship set against the frigid Arctic and the secrets that propel the narrative will keep readers riveted in this hard-to-forget, mesmerizing tale!"
― M.J. Rose, New York Times bestselling author
"Serious issues like gender bias and exploitation are adeptly handled, and the icy Arctic setting comes alive in passages of shimmering beauty . . . An exceptional epic about an unconventional woman's life and loves."
―Booklist (Starred Review)
"Penney does a masterly job of melding Flora's story with the more factual accounts of polar expeditions, and many of her characters are taken from the pages of history . . . A gripping tale about the men and women who were driven to conquer the Arctic. Bound to appeal to admirers of Eowyn Ivey's To the Bright Edge of the World."―Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Penney makes it clear that whatever their flaws, these early explorers, even the least likable and most desperate, had dreams and courage and a mystical pull toward the north that was almost as strong as the magnetism of the Pole itself. That's the true heart of this immersive novel. If you are fond of boundary-shattering journeys--geographical, sexual, and scientific--you'll have a great ride."
"A panoramic historical epic and an unforgettable love story from the author of the Costa-winning The Tenderness of Wolves, for fans of Sarah Perry, Jessie Burton, and Donna Tartt."― Princeton Book Review
"A tale of foul play and doomed love . . . It is a tribute to Penney's superlative descriptive skills that the book's erotic charge is so startlingly effective, and that her icy landscapes cast such a lasting, almost hallucinatory spell."
"With the nights drawing in and the temperature beginning to plummet, there's no better time to curl up with this stunningly evocative tale about an intrepid young female explorer. As immersive as it is mesmerizing, this is a novel that you won't ever forget."―Heat