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28 October 2008


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Hi Leila! I'm a children's bookseller (love your site; have it on my feed; refer you to customers), and am chiming in to say that I read this book too, and although I found it mesmerizing (the amount of research the author did is freakin' epic), it left me feeling... meh. After a week of pondering I pinned my dissatisfaction down to: Aslaug doesn't make any choices of her own. The plot happens around her and in spite of her, but she either doesn't take action or is thwarted from taking it.

But I ordered it for my store anyway, because it's still very neat, and I have high hopes for Meldrum's next book.


YES. I think that was part of my problem with the second half, especially. The being locked up and pregnant and then having her baby taken away and then Rune showing up at the last minute at the trial -- she was hardly ever an active participant in her own life and never seemed to do much fighting for herself -- but as I told myself, she'd never really made decisions before her mother died, so after she died, well why start then? But now that you mention it... even the sex wasn't her choice. Oh, and the cop taking half her money -- and then the preacher taking the rest of it -- geez, you're totally right!

But it also occured to me that as a big chunk of it all had to do with her possibly being God's vessel, etc., etc. that her lack of participation in her own story made a weird sort of sense. That she may have been partially convinced that the whole thing was preordained, and so why fight it? I felt like she was a great character, but not one that I really took to or felt any amount of affection for -- I was on edge, not knowing how it was going to turn out, but I never loved her and worried about her.

It's an odd one, for sure. At some point I might use it in my YA book group, see what they have to say about it...


I listened to this on audio a few weeks back and found it to be a very thoughtful book, and agree with you that it's not the typical YA novel. The audio is excellent.


This is on the list for a mock Printz I'm attending - sounds intriguing!


This sounds very interesting, and thanks for the spoiler warning! It always annoys me a little bit when I am reading along and BAM completely SPOILED!

Will be checking this out asap.

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