Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert
Published October 31st, 2016
I don’t usually gravitate towards historical fiction so when the opportunity to read this book came I wasn’t expecting to absolutely love it. But I did. Set in the Era of Leif Erikson, this story is about his brazen half-sister Freydis.
Determined to rise above her rank as the illegitimate "forest child" of Eirik the Red, Freydis launches a second voyage to Vinland to solidify her power and to demand the respect she deserves. She will return home with enough plunder to force her brother, Leif, to sell her the family farm in Greenland.
But nothing can prepare her for the horrors she must confront in Vinland...and nothing can stand in her way when her family is threatened.
In her race to outrun the truths that might destroy her, Freydis ultimately collides with the only enemy she cannot silence—her own heart.
What surprised me the most about this book was the realistic grit of the viking world Gilbert painted. It was refreshing to see a christian novel portray the good, the bad, and the sometimes gruesome. The action was fast paced and tastefully described. I hate when authors make action sequences so complex you have no idea what’s happening. This book definitely didn’t have that problem. The narrative held my attention and was purposeful, there were no filler sentences that didn’t fit.
Freydis as a character intrigued me. I wanted to know more about her as I read, to find out what drove her. At times her pride and malice frustrated me. But then Gilbert would let you see her affection and have you rooting for Freydis once more. The relationship between Freydis and Ref is something that interested me as well. Their marriage was far from perfect and I’m thankful Gilbert portrayed a life-like relationship that was raw and most of the time, strained.
I also enjoyed the setting of this novel and the history I learned as I read. If, like me, you dislike sad or frustrating endings do not fear. This story ended with all ties mended and relationships restored. A story full of action, betrayal, redemption, and girl power to the max. You’ll love Forest Child.
Alcohol/drugs: Freydis eats a mushroom that causes hallucinations
Sexual Content: Nothing that really stands out. A husband and wife lying together is noted throughout the book. Things are said in subtle ways as to make known what happened and nothing is sexualized. Think Bible terminology.
Spiritual Content: While the main character Freydis is not a Christian, Christianity is talked about a lot throughout the book and many of the side characters are Christians. There is a very powerful spiritual redemption at the end on the novel.
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