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Icefall (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Press: Turtleback; Reprint edition (February 1, 2013)
Publication Date:2012-12
Author Name:Kirby, Matthew J.


Princess Solveig and her siblings are trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen fjord, along with her best friend and an army of restless soldiers, all awaiting news of the king's victory in battle, but as they wait for winter's end and the all-encompassing ice to break, acts of treachery make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst.

About the Author

Matthew J. 
Kirby is the critically acclaimed author of the middle-grade novels ICEFALL, which won an Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery, and THE CLOCKWORK THREE.
He was born in Utah and grew up in Maryland, California, and Hawaii.
Matthew is a school psychologist.
He and his wife live in northern Idaho, where he is working on his next novel.
Visit his website at www.matthewjkirby.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

From Icefall  Listen to me. 
All of you.
We cannot let this enemy divide us.
We cannot let our suspicions and our doubts run wild, or else we will destroy ourselves.
Brave and honorable men have died, and it is true that there may be a traitor among us.
But if there is, we hasten his purpose if we turn on each other.
We cannot forget who we are.
Who we were.
If ever you listened to me, hearken to me now.
For I would remind you, and I have many stories to tell...

--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.


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Comment List (Total:18)

  •     This is one of the best books that I can remember reading. It was easily two months ago and I still remember the characters as people and remember their growth both good and bad. I learned a great deal about Vikings and their daily life and warfare. The heroine is a wonderful person and I wish I could have met her.

  •     Reading Matthew Kirby’s Icefall is like reading an old Norse tale -there is suspense, there is heroism, there are storytellers, and there is battle.

  •     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.

  •     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!

  •     Its an amazing story that is well crafted and greatly detailed. Ive never read a more amazing story in my life

  •     A lyrical coming-of-age story interwoven with mystery and mythology, masterfully crafted.

  •     This book is fantastic; the character development is compelling; the story is vivid and incredibly well done. An important theme of the book is the significance of stories, the power and influence of the telling of stories and the way they are told. Recommended for anyone with an interest in the Vikings, or the power of storytelling.

  •     Icefall takes place in Scandinavia during the Dark Ages. It is a time of brutal warfare and deprivation, but also a time of rich culture and mythology-- both of which drive this...

  •     This is NOT a Dane Maddock Series Book. See Icefall Author David Wood.Cost me $5.6 which Amazon will not refund to me.

  •     Wonderfully written, suspenseful, nuanced, and great messages. I loved it as much as my 11 year old did. Will be my go to gift for nieces and nephews.

  •     Icefall is set in a world of ice and snow, where Vikings rule the seas and conquer the land.Solveig is the second daughter of a Viking king.

  •     This book is excellent on many levels. I believe middle grade kids, young adults, and adults would all enjoy this story. The main tale is that of Solveig, her younger brother Harald and her beautiful older sister Asa. The three have been sent by their father the King to a hidden fortress at the end of a fjord, a groaning glacier above them. Many mysteries surround Solveig and her family and caretakers. These combine to make this story into a true page-turner. But there is so much more. Interspersed throughout are Norse tales, some told by the skald Alric, some by Solveig as she learns to be a storyteller. The story in the "now" is beautifully written and keeps the reader moving ahead. But the "back story memories" that Solveig has, (written in short sections printed in italics) bring the characters to life. ICEFALL is woven perfectly. As a writer myself, I intend to read it again, searching for the clues and connections that tie it together so masterfully.

  •     An awesome fix for any Norse mythology interests, and a good intro to it. Also shows how to find your own place in the world when you don't fit in the norm.

  •     Interesting characters have depth. Nordic legends give an added dimension to the story. A very enjoyable book . I look forward to reading more.

  •     IcefallMatthew J. KirbyPublished February 1, 2013Paperback, 321 pages05452742579780545274258Synopsis: 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.The Review: 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. The beginning of the story was very slow and did not really hold my attention. As the book progressed it started to pick up and by the end of the book I could not put it down. It was so intense and fast paced. Initially everyone was just settling into their roles in the book and there was not so much to tell, but once they realized that there was a traitor among them the tension built up. At the end when they are confronted by the enemy so much is happening and you are hoping that the good guys win that it gets exciting. I really enjoyed that this book used words the Vikings would have used instead of using standard English. I also liked the Norse folklore that is told throughout the story. It gave the story history without overwhelming a person or being boring. Solveig was my favorite character. I liked how the author, Matthew J. Kirby had her change over time. In the beginning she was a timid girl who did not think she was could ever be like her siblings. Then as the story continues she starts to learn about herself. She learns that she is a wonderful skald, the Viking title for a great storyteller. She also realizes she is braver than she ever thought possible. From the beginning Solveig wasn't like other princesses who only thought of themselves and thought all work was for servants. Instead she helped do the chores and was a very good friend to the workers. She is also very loyal. Once she made a friend she would do anything for them. The last thing I liked about her was that she was so kind hearted. When people got hurt she cried for them and told them stories to make them feel better. My second favorite character was Hake the berserker who was sent to protect Solveig and her siblings. For those of you who do not know what a berserker is, a berserker is a warrior unlike any other. They are the toughest and strongest and if you get them mad they literally go berserk and destroy anyone and anything in their path. I liked Hake because he came off as this big gruff man with no feels when in reality he was the sweetest guy. Solveig had grown attached to a goat before Hake and his berserkers arrived. Hake killed the goat not knowing it was Solveig's friend. He felt so guilty for what he had done he gives Solveig a wounded Raven to apologize for what he had done. When the enemy appears Hake is willing to give up his life for Solveig who he had come to love. There are secondary characters that played roles in the book such as Solveig's siblings. Asa, was your typical princess. She would not help with chores and mopped around the fortress most of the time. She barely talked to her own sister and it turns out she had a secret but to learn Asa's secret you will have to read the book. Harald, Solveig's little brother was a sweetheart. He idolizes Hake and wants to be a big strong warrior right now. When anyone calls him little he gets upset and tells him he is not little. He is your typical little boy so full of energy and always curious about everything. Besides these two, there are the servants. There are five servants that play their parts in this book. There is Bera, the cook and her son Raudi. Without these two everything would fall apart around the fortress. The next servant is Ole, he is a thrall which means slave. He helps Solveig and the others by catching fish. He also tries to save Solveig from the enemy when they show up. Thirdly, there is Per a warrior who is in love with Asa and is very close friends with Solveig. Lastly there is Alric, who is also a skald and is the one who helps Solveig find her calling. Without him she would never have figured out who she wanted to be. I recommend this book to anyone interested in Vikings and their lore. I also think this is a good book for anyone looking for a quick and simple read. There is adventure, betrayal and a touch of romance in this story, but above all, it is Solveig's tale of finding herself.

  •     In my opinion, Matthew J. Kirby is an underrated Young Adult author. This book is such a great read. My son and I read it together, and we were full of excitement discussing it. It's really a who-done-it kind of mystery set in Viking times. There is a traitor amongst the group, and the author does a great job of keeping you guessing.But it's not just a plot driven story. The characters are so well-constructed. Very poignant relationships are developed between the main character and those around her. I was trying not to tear up as I was reading the final chapters to my son!

  •     I enjoyed this book. It's unique and it was refreshing to read something different.

  •     this is NOT a Dane Maddock novel, it starts with a story in the past but never moves into current times so unless you look at the author, you think you're going to get a book 4 in...


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