Historical romance author Sundell (The Parlor House Daughter) turns to frontier fiction in her newest work. The novel follows the story of Anya, a young half-Native, half-Caucasian girl living in Siberia. Anya can see spirits, and also has a special affinity for the sled dogs she takes care of. When she releases her sled dogs, the rest of the village believes her to be possessed by bad spirits, and want to end her life. However, her caretaker, Grisha, decides to trade her to another man, along with the sled dogs. Anya sneaks aboard the ship taking the dogs across the Pacific to Nome, Ala., and meets Lars, the captain, and his son, Rune. Together, they travel across the Pacific; Rune and Anya get to know each other, and Anya struggles with her persistent ability to see spirits. Sundell's novel evokes the atmosphere of the early 20th century frontier, reminiscent at times of Jack London's work. Blending historical and fantasy fiction is no easy feat, but Sundell captures her reader's interest with appropriate period details and a new take on common fantasy tropes. This is a refreshing story that neatly fits within the genre while also exploring new ground. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 10/13/2014 Release date: 09/01/2014 Genre: Fiction
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