Riddle of the Runes

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Review

Alva is a girl in a Viking world, but her father – before he went away – gave her the same freedoms as a boy. She is a natural detective, seeking out mysteries in the small village that is her home. Her inspiration is her uncle Magnus. Then some monks arrive, from a far-off place called Lindisfarne. They bring news of a code, of hidden treasure – and violence follows them. Alva, her uncle and her loyal wolf, Fenrir, must hurry to try and break the code, and find out what the link is to Alva’s missing father. However, there is a mysterious enemy in their midst…

Alva is a strong, fierce and exciting heroine and this is an interesting approach to the well-known story of Vikings, which puts women at the centre of the story. The accurate historical information and the extra content about runes adds a further dimension to this enjoyable adventure. A kind of The Name of the Rose for children, this book will attract readers who are interested in history, but also those who enjoy a good adventure and a strong heroine.

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