by Matthew J. Kirby

Scholastic, $17.99, 325 pages

There are some books that instantly transport the reader to another time and place and Icefall is a stunning example of just such a book. The story centers on Solveig, overlooked daughter of the king, and her family, who have been sent north to be kept safe while the country is at war. When strange incidents begin to occur, Solveig and the head soldier, Hake, begin to realize that there is a traitor amongst their midst and must work to save the family before it is too late.

Written with vivid descriptions, author Matthew J. Kirby creates a wonderful world full of snow and ice and cold, all of which aid the sense of foreboding that he creates throughout the book. The characters are wonderfully written and complex. In particular, the main character Solveig, is skillfully written and shows a lot of change and development through the book. It is delightful to watch her grow from a child who accepts her status as a useless second daughter to a strong young woman who realizes that she can change the world with her words and stories. This is a great book for pre-teens and for girls, in particular.

Barbara Cothern