This is a story about Hedda Stein-Sun, a young Viking girl from a shamed family, she wants to redeem her family’s pride. She believes the challenges at the Holmgang are the way to do so. Her journey reveals terrible secrets, and she faces troubling dilemmas.
She meets Old Anna who tells her of the three threes:
– she will find three sets of captives but will not be able to free them all;
– there are three sets of powers, some want to steal all three, no one had been known to control the darkness that comes with the combined powers;
– there are three parts to the Viking self: clan, caring for others, caring for yourself.
Hedda is a young Viking girl, has been counting the stones hurled at her since the age of 10. 306, one nearly every other day, 18 sets of stiches. She is from a disgraced family, paying for events 40 years before. Since the bullying, she has had a second voice, Marit, sharing her mind (the Vikings core beliefs include the second voice). She is also crepuscular, with control over the dusk animals in the early evenings.
The islands, until now, have been protected by an ever-present mist.
Vegard is her age, he hates her, hates that her family’s conduct has resulted in cruel restrictions on island life. There will be two sets of boats leaving the island:
– The Viking raiders, only women are allowed to raid, the men were prohibited following the Clan’s shame. The men for years lived in a haze of drink, now they pass the time and find solace in baking.
– The Dolphin boat will be coming for the delegates for the Holmgang. The Holmgang is a place of challenge, a place to choose the leading elite.
People are selected for the Holmgang at the age of 12 or when they are judged to be 5 years from death. She goes to the Holmgang with her grandfather. The winner of the challenge at the Holmgang can introduce one minor law.
She meets people on her journey but has problems making friends, is disappointed on the way.
At the Holmgang she finds the three captives.
What would you do if you found three groups of innocent prisoners and might win the choice to save only one of the three?
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