I am so excited to talk about this book with all of you! One of my goals last year was to get ahead on what was coming down the line in new young adult fiction. Unfortunately I didn't really achieve that, as I am a terribly slow reader and I always end up reading books that are at least a decade old. For 2017 however, I made a few exceptions and as far as this novel is concerned, I am so glad that I did. This novel snuck in during late fall of last year and didn't get much buzz at my bookstore so I wasn't sure what to expect. I loved the artwork, and the premise sounded cool, but being the "twenties on a budget" adult that I am, I decided to restrain myself a little because I had already bought too many books in 2017. I put this book on my Christmas list, and it was the first novel I jumped into in the New Year, because I was looking for something a bit more accessible.
This novel immediately gripped me. Straight from the beginning we jump into the action as Hanne, a young girl of four siblings in a rural village in Norway, is using a power her family calls her Nytte. A Nytte is essentially a genetic power passed down from royal blood from the age of the Vikings, when the gods blessed them with the ability to pillage and plunder and build great ships. The novel quickly turns from the sibling’s story to a young rancher in Montana as he tries to find his place in the world. The story quickly unfolds that the siblings and rancher are going to encounter each other as the siblings make their way to the Americas, and a budding romance seems promising. The final plot line is of an older scholar who works for a Baron and goes after individuals with the different Nyttes.
Without spoiling too much, I highly encourage you dive into this book as the writing is exceptional and the characters are extremely relatable. Unlike many young adult fictions today that takes a great plot and muddy it with modern day drama and tropes, this novel stayed well within its setting and brings the reader into a story that I can honestly say I have never experienced in anything I've ever read. Witty and easy to read, with super short chapters that give you great little glimpses into the emerging characters keeps the pacing comfortable and helps to make it a fun and easy read. As far as a rating I would give, if I did ratings, which I don't - This is an easy 5 out of 5 stars and was my favorite book to read published in 2017.