cover image The Ice Maiden

The Ice Maiden

Sara Sheridan. Severn, $28.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8820-4

In 1842, destitute 24-year-old widow Karina Lande, the heroine of this arresting historical novel from Sheridan (the Mirabelle Bleven mysteries), disguises herself as a boy and stows away on the Terror, a ship harbored at Deception Island in the South Atlantic, where she has been stranded since the death of her estranged sea captain husband. Karina, though she’s a native of Sweden, hopes the Terror will take her to her beloved Amsterdam, where she lived happily before her troubled marriage. Several days out from port, she is discovered and informed that the Terror is sailing to Antarctica, which the captain has been charged with mapping. As Karl, she goes to work in the galley and soon develops a reputation as a fine baker of bread and pastries. She also arouses confused feelings in the ship’s doctor. Then Karina’s story takes an unexpected, eerie swerve several decades into the future, and the focus shifts to the travails of indomitable Antarctic explorers Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton and the crews of their respective ships. Sheridan acutely casts a woman’s eye on traditionally male endeavors in this often poetic tale. [em]Agent: Jenny Brown, Jenny Brown Assoc. (U.K.). (Nov.) [/em]