Rose, brave and beautiful is a ‘North Child’, which means she is meant to wander and explore lands that are farther away from home. But a mother’s love is a complicated thing and Rose’s mother would give away anything to keep her birth direction a secret.
Rose has a penchant for outdoorsy adventures, and would only stay at home if she gets to weave. But Rose’s destiny is greater than weaving fine clothes or exploring the lands outside her home. She is meant to break a curse surrounding a giant white bear who is compassionate and trapped in an evil scheme by a devilish princess. And for that, Rose has to sail through turbulent seas with drunk men and climb mountains with people she barely trusts.
‘North Child’ is an extraordinary tale of one child’s destiny and a curse that meddles with the rules governing the relationship between the ‘Huldre Land’ invisible to human eyes and the human realm. Rose’s adventures aren’t always the safest. The description of every land Rose travels to is picturesque and elaborate. I had a great time reading about the myths of Norway (Since it is a retelling of a popular Norwegian fairy tale), map making, all about ships and sailing as well as a lot of different languages in the Arctic. The author’s habit of elaborating things also made this informative and fun.
North Child doesn’t read like a middle grade because of all the tiny details the author includes. The writing is elaborate and exciting, simultaneously maintaining the suspense. If only the ending didn’t feel rushed. But, on the brighter side, this book is fun and adventurous and an inventive take on a popular fairytale. It satiated my need for dark and mysterious tales with a lot of secrets, scaling snow-capped mountains, living in an enchanted cave and a twisted curse that takes me to troubled places.
Blurb (as on Goodreads):
This is a beguiling epic of magic, love, loss and betrayal based on the traditional fairytale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon”. The lyrical writing and bold sweep of the story as Rose travels north will cast a spell over every reader. “A rich tapestry that will resonate with readers…The stuff of epic tale-telling, replete with high drama and compelling characterisations.” – Booklist.
Rose was born into the world facing north, and as a north child, superstition says that she will be a wanderer, traveling far from home. This prophecy is fulfilled when she is taken on the back of a white bear to a mysterious empty castle, where a silent stranger appears to her night after night. When her curiosity overcomes her, she loses her heart, and must journey to a land east of the sun and west of the moon to reclaim it.
*Thank you Usborne Books for a copy of the book. All opinions are my own*