Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Northlander, by Meg Burden

I think I picked this one up because it seemed a good idea at the time. No better reason. Only that I was tripping around the JSF section and saw a likely book.

Being bad at summaries and too tired at the moment, I'm finding the publisher's:

"Ellin, a girl from the Southland, is forced to go with her physician father to heal the Northland king, even though Southlanders are despised and feared throughout the cold country. Ellin must find a way to battle both the people from the North and then her own people, the Southlanders, to survive in a icy and hostile land.
A great debut novel of a land in sometimes magical combat."

That sums it up fairly well.

Northlander is a well-written, entertaining book. The writing is nothing special, but capable enough. And {possible spoiler} I managed to like it even though it involved mental telepathy. {I don't know why, but telepathy annoys me a lot in books.}
Some points of the plot did hang a bit more loosely than others.

Interesting points:
Honesty - should Ellin's father have explained the Southlings' power to her earlier? It seems to me that he was not being responsible by keeping the information back from her. Granted, there would have been dangers in instructing her, but weren't there more dangers in her trying to discover things for herself?
Relationship between people of different races/nationalities - the way that Ms. Burden described the tension between the Northlanders and the Southlings was very real to me. Andthat tension melts away when both sides acknowlege each other's strengths; the friendship between Ellin and the princes was beautifully done.

Age rec: There's a very unpleasant image mentioned that might disturb younger kids, and a scene of a horse giving birth that some people might not appreciate. Also, not infrequent strong language - often without much reason. {I wish Ms. Burden had thought of her audience a little more.} Twelve and up might be a good range.

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