Expected publication: March 27th 2012 by Random House Children’s Books
This is historical fantasy at its best. Sixteen-year-old Hild has always been a favorite of her uncle, king of the Shylfings. So when she protects her cousin the crown prince from a murderous traitor, she expects the king to be grateful. Instead, she is unjustly accused of treachery herself.
As punishment, her uncle sends Hild far away to the heir of the enemy king, Beowulf, to try to weave peace between the two kingdoms. She must leave her home and everyone she loves. On the long and perilous journey, Hild soon discovers that fatigue and rough terrain are the least of her worries. Something is following her and her small band of guards—some kind of foul creature that tales say lurks in the fens. Will Hild have to face the monster? Or does it offer her the perfect chance to escape the destiny she never chose?
Rebecca Barnhouse’s companion to The Coming of the Dragon is sure to appeal to younger fans of Tamora Pierce, Esther Friesner, and Shannon Hale
I was a bit apprehensive when I first started reading this book because it started out very quickly and I was hoping that the book wasn’t a sequel to another book that I had not read (which I found out later it is). Peaceweaver is just fine as a standalone novel, but it was so good, I just bought Coming of the Dragon, which is Rune’s story, to read later.
In case you didn’t know what a Peaceweaver is, it the term for a girl of noble birth who is given to the king of an enemy kingdom to be his queen, as part of a peace deal. It is her job to try to weave peace between the two formerly warring kingdoms.
Hild is the sister-daughter of the King, but when she saves the heir to the throne, by killing a visiting ambassador, the bard in the king’s court convinces the king that she is evil, and possessed by an evil spirit. This is not true, their goddess, Freyja, was actually working through her, giving her premonitions, so she could save the heir, her cousin. She is what her people call Far-minded, meaning she is a seer. Because of this gift, she is feared by many of the guards, even the guard she had hoped to marry. The king, also fearing her, on the advice of his bard, quarantines her in her home, essentially making her a prisoner, until the king and his bard come up with a plan that will change Hild’s and everyone around else around hers life forever, being sent into exile as a Peaceweaver.
Hild and her guards, who are escorting her to the kingdom of Geat, have many adventures before finally meeting the famed Beowulf, who is to be her husband.
Hild shows strength, intelligence, respect, courage, honor, and sadness throughout her journey. She is a great role model for girls. She is neither weak, nor dumb. She shows kindness to those around her, even when they are not showing her kindness in return. I would highly recommend this book for students 5th grade- adult, depending on reading level. There is no sex, or even the alluding to sex. There is no swearing. There is violence, since this is an adventure novel, but it is nothing gory or inappropriate.
Teachers and parents should feel comfortable with recommending this book for their children to read. It would probably appeal more to girls, since this book covers Hild’s story, but there is enough action that boys may enjoy it too. I can’t wait for the next in what I hope is a series.
I received this book as an ARC, but I do not get paid to review books. I review books so that parents and teachers will have a better understanding of what their kids are reading.