From the author of the bestselling Bones of Faerie trilogy—a captivating modern odyssey that weaves the fierce love and violent passions of the ancient Icelandic sagas into the twenty-first century with spellbinding results.
When Haley gets caught between an ancient spell and a modern betrayal, the world will burn.
After her mother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland, where her mother was last seen. Amidst the ancient fissures and crevices of that volcanic island, Haley picks up a silver coin that entangles her in a spell cast by her ancestor Hallgerd, a sorceress intent on stealing another’s life to escape her own.
To break the spell, Haley sets off on an epic adventure with Ari, a boy with a dangerous secret who appoints himself her protector. The two soon learn that Hallgerd’s spell and Haley’s mother’s disappearance are linked to a chain of events that threaten to unleash terrifying powers and consume the world itself.
To keep that from happening Haley must find a way to contain the growing fires of the spell—before the fire consumes her and all that she holds dear.
“Adopting figures from Icelandic sagas, Simner (Bones of Faerie) creates a captivating modern odyssey … Incorporating references to Star Wars and Norse myth alike, Simner is poetic whether writing about magic and sorcery or simply getting inside her characters’ heads.” —Publishers Weekly
“Simner’s second book, a fantasy set in modern times but rooted in ancient Icelandic sagas, has great reader appeal. The plot is compelling–a page-turner … The climax is a humdinger, and while the resolution is bittersweet, it makes sense and is consistent with the magical rules of the book. There’s some innocent romance to pique reader interest, while dark magic will attract readers who enjoy touches of Norse mythology in their fantasy reading.” —Kirkus
“Simner skillfully weaves Haley and Ari’s modern emotional struggles into the ancient saga and enlivens the story with an intriguing cast of characters from the original tale. With its urgent pace and unique setting, this offering from the author of Bones of Faerie will stay with readers.” —Booklist
“This appealing novel centers around and embellishes Icelandic legend—specifically Njal’s Saga. Simner takes the old stories and brings them into the 21st century in this cyclical novel about the powerful relationship between mothers and daughters.” —School Library Journal
“This book will keep readers turning pages as the two teens face dangers, test their own courage and stamina, and learn that things aren’t always simply right or wrong. The story is compelling from the start … a fast read that will have teens reading into the night to finish it quickly.” —Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN)
“Simner brings the remote, quake-racked island vividly to life … She inhabits her Iceland with complex, sympathetic characters who pay steep costs for the actions of others and themselves. She skillfully blends ancient Icelandic legend (specifically, Njal’s Saga) and Scandinavian myth with the modern world.” – Fantasy Magazine
“The scariness and apocalypse of the source material is well reflected here. It’s a smart book, without easy answers, and Haley’s struggle to integrate her childhood perceptions of her parents with adult realities rings very true.” —Realms of Fantasy
A YASLA Best Books for Young Adults (BFYA) nominee, ALAN Pick, and Bank Street Best Book
Adopting figures from Icelandic sagas, Simner (Bones of Faerie) creates a captivating modern odyssey. A year after 16-year-old Haley's mother disappeared in Iceland, Haley, determined to find her, has persuaded her father to take her there. After Haley discovers an unusual coin, her father's co-worker Katrin, a distant relative of her mother, tells Haley that her mother was caught in an enchantment cast by one of their ancestors to escape an arranged marriage. Along with Katrin's son, Ari, Haley is swept away on a perilous journey to uncover her own role in the legends. Incorporating references to Star Wars and Norse myth alike, Simner is poetic whether writing about magic and sorcery or simply getting inside her characters' heads ( I think I am not quite used to being human again, says Ari, after being turned from a polar bear back into a teenage boy. I did not know it was possible to forget such a thing ). An endnote includes information about the sagas Simner studied while writing this story the well-crafted result may encourage readers to do the same. Ages 12 up.