Saturday, October 2, 2010

Book review: Raiders from the Sea by Lois Walfrid Johnson

Viking Quest: Raiders from the Sea by Lois Walfrid Johnson (Published by Moody Publishers, August 1, 2003)

Thirteen-year-old Bree O'Toole and her fourteen-year-old brother, Devin, live with their parents and younger siblings on a farm in Ireland in the late tenth century. Bree loves her beautiful home, and is grateful that even though she is a girl, she was given the opportunity to be educated at the monastery. But at the same time, she often longs to see faraway places. What she doesn't know is that soon her wish will come true, but in a terrible way.

One day, Bree rescues a young man from drowning, not realizing he is a Viking and by saving him she has put her family and village in danger. The Vikings capture Bree and Devin during their raid. Devin is later set free by the young Viking leader, Mikkel - the same young man Bree rescued from drowning. But as the Viking ship sails north across the sea, Bree has nothing to look forward to but a life of slavery, and she struggles to hold on to her courage.

Young readers who enjoyed other books by Lois Walfrid Johnson, or who have an interest in historical fiction about the Vikings or the early years of the Medieval era, are sure to enjoy this book. It is an exciting historical adventure, and I loved that it is set in a time period that I love to read about, but that is rarely featured in middle grade or young adult historical fiction. I look forward to reading the other books in this series to find out what happens next to the characters.

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