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Donna Jo Napoli. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4424-8300-2

This adventure-packed companion to Napoli’s Hush takes place in the 10th century, stretching over eight years in the life of fugitive Irish princess Brigid as she experiences four different lives. Kidnapped as an eight-year-old, along with her 15-year-old sister, Melkorka (the heroine of Hush), to be sold into slavery, Brigid literally jumps ship and swims ashore onto a foreign land, which turns out to be Jutland, in Denmark. Over the next eight years she plants herself in two families in different cultures, takes on new names, and leads a band of women pirates across the Baltic Sea, rescuing slaves while in search of her sister. A postscript explains that Napoli blended her fictional character’s story with that of Alfhild, the first known Norse woman pirate. Brigid’s extraordinary strength, bravery, and survival instincts, along with her obsession with rescuing her older sister, sometimes strain credibility, as does the ending, rewarding as it is. Dense with historical detail and overflowing with characters, this ambitious saga will find an audience with sophisticated readers looking to invest in a multifaceted, complex tale. Ages 12–up. (Dec.)