Ruth Eastham’s Arrowhead begins with some pretty un-Norwegianlike behaviour among a group of school children in the north of Norway. But that’s OK, because they have a reason for it. They are not quite themselves.
The book’s hero, Jack, is Norwegian, but brought up in England, so counts as an outsider. He’s not the only hero; there is Tor, who is a dead viking, and Jack’s present day allies Skuli and Emma. They live in Isdal, which is as cold as it sounds, despite it being summer (sort of). And everything is a bit odd. No one behaves as you’d expect, apart from Skuli and Jack, and we soon find out why.
Arrowhead is another rewriting – or fantasy – based on Norse mythology and other old stuff. I noticed Beowulf in there. Odin obviously turns up, the way he tends to do.
In the end it’s up to the three live heroes and the dead one to work on setting Isdal – and the world – right. Can they do it?
Ruth has got most of her Norwegian facts sorted out. Even the local mountain has a good name. And people eat waffles in the town’s café. (That really impressed me, until I found out that some witch had had a say in that. But they should eat waffles.)
Very exciting adventure, and one I reckon would make an excellent film. I could see it as I read. The arrows. The fire. The fighting.