In this opening volume, thirteen-year-old Briana and her fourteen-year-old brother Devin, are captured by Viking raiders who land in Ireland. The Vikings are led by a boy, a lad of about 15 years, named Mikkel, the son of a great Viking chieftain. Before she is captured, Briana saves Mikkel from drowning, not knowing who he is. She and her brother later find themselves captive on a ship headed for Norway, with Mikkel in charge. In gratitude for saving his life, Mikkel releases Devin before they get to Norway, but he refuses to let Briana go. Instead, she is forced to sail with the raiders and their load of captives all the way from Ireland to Norway.
Briana comes from a God-loving family. Before she is captured, her father tells her, “Whatever you face, if you ask God to help you, He will.” When a treacherous storm threatens to destroy their ship, the Vikings pray to Thor for aid. Not getting any results, they threaten to start throwing captives overboard to appease their god. Briana prays to the Almighty God for help. After the storm subsides, the Vikings show Briana a grudging respect for saving their lives, even though she doesn’t take credit for the miracle.
Near the end of the book, after the ship has landed in Norway, Briana searches for a chance to escape, but will she make it? Follow her exciting tale of adventure in the next book, The Mystery of the Silver Coins.
Even though this is a chapter book, there are black-and-white pencil sketches at the beginnings of each chapter depicting a scene from that particular part of the book.
What I Like: Sometimes it’s difficult to get kids interested in history. Historical fiction novels such as this one are a great way to introduce children to historical topics without them feeling like they might be “learning” something.
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Very good.
Age Appeal: Young Adult.
Publisher Info: Moody Publishers, 2003; ISBN: 0802431127; Paperback, $7.99.
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