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Ice Land

3.3 (2407)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Ice Land.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Betsy Tobin(Author)

    Book details


Ice Land is an epic tale of forbidden love. Set in the year 1000 AD, in the shadow of a smouldering volcano, it portrays a society on the brink of change, where the old values of loyalty and kinship are threatened by a new world order.Freya knows that her people are doomed. Warned by the Fates of an impending catastrophe, she goes in search of a magnificent gold necklace said to have the power to alter the course of history. But to obtain the necklace, she must pay a terrible price and sell herself to the four brothers who created it. Infused with the rich history and mythology of Iceland, Betsy Tobin's novel is a moving meditation on desire, the nature of belief and the redemptive power of the earth.

"A lyrically written epic inspired by the beauty and history of that island, and the rich world of Norse mythology that infuses it..." --Sunday Telegraph"Tobin combines the sensuality of Angela Carter with a profound feeling for a violent unstable and fascinating landscape... this world pulses with subversion and unexpected passion." -- Saturday Telegraph"Tobin's novels are dark and bloody, sensual and mythic. They are also set in a past that, thanks to her skill at inhabiting her characters, seems often more immediate than the world around us..." -- Observer"Triuphant" -- Time Out

3.2 (12437)
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Book details

  • PDF | 368 pages
  • Betsy Tobin(Author)
  • Short Books Ltd (1 Jan. 2009)
  • English
  • 7
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy

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Review Text

  • By Ursula K. Raphael on 11 August 2009

    Ice Land is an interesting twist of the historical novel form. Betsy Tobin attempts to bring together many different aspects of the history of Iceland through the characters of Freya, fulla, and Dvalin - goddess, mortal, and dwarf (half-breed), respectively.Frey pursues the Brisingamen, Fulla is caught up in a feud, and Dvalin is torn between worlds. Eventually, the story reveals how their three lives are intertwined in more ways than one. In the background, Mount Helka builds up to an eruption that changes everything for everyone.I only had two problems with this book:1) the Norns are used to present mini geology lessons between chapters: "The crust it encounters is not seamless, but a series of curved plates that fit together like a puzzle."and, 2) the Norse gods are portrayed as incestuous and dysfunctional as the Greek pantheon. While the Aesir and Vanir had their issues, I felt that Tobin took a lot of liberties with Odin and the rest.If you would like another historical book with the adventures of a strong Norse woman, read The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman. However, for more information about Norse mythology and traditions, I strongly suggest Myths of the Norsemen: From the Eddas and Sagas and Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia.

  • By London Reader on 23 February 2008

    Ice Land is contemporary faerie tale (without the faeries) where the landscape is as much a driving force in the novel and its community of characters. Tobin's style is tight. Her language is plain, and the narrative is driven by a certain amount of lust and longin and a deep sense of place. It was a treat to be taken by this author's safe pair of hands into this kind of Iceland.It is a wonderful read.

  • By Linton Edwards on 20 January 2016

    Great book! A cracking story, drawing on all sorts of Icelandic mythology, but with the people talking and acting like real people, apart from all being very beautiful, very small, very quiet, very magic etc. The love stories are satisfyingly difficult and they seem like they're not going to make it - spoiler alert - there are happy endings. I do love a happy ending, when the story merits it. The amazing and unique Icelandic landscape is well evoked and is a big part of the story. The women have significant conversations and make their own decisions. The blokes are all heroes or villains - but have characters. It cracks along and really is a good read. I have been to Iceland and am going again because it's such a strange and mysterious place; the book has made me think I need to research more about the island's people, history and literature. But it is very accessible. I actually turned David Attenboro off so I could read the middle bit....well done Betsy Tobin. I wish I could write like that.

  • By valkyrie1008 on 9 February 2012

    This book is a true masterpiece of Norse mythology and human nature set in the dramatic landscape of Iceland. It is a retelling of the Norse goddess Freya's desire for the famed Brisingamen necklace crafted by 4 dwarves. Yet this tale is interwoven with the tale of a young Viking woman struggling with societies marital demands of her and the needs of her heart for a man she cannot have. It explores Freya's character as she must give her body to each of the dwarves in return for the necklace the fates have told her will save Iceland from destruction, yet it is with one dwarf in particular of the four brothers that does not take Freya so eagerly and the pair travel and encounter other mythological beings from the Norse Pantheon as they try to return to the Dwarves realm in order to fulfil the bargin.All the characters are wonderfully crafted and the strong emotions involved with them all connect seamlessly to create a wondrous tale of love, desire and the changing of times.


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