This novel is based on the Icelandic saga of Gísli the outlaw, and follows the life of Disa, Gísli’s sister, who flees Norway with her son Sindri to Iceland where she hopes her sister-in-law Aud will give her shelter. It is a story of revenge and blood-feuds within the family.
The author has brought the bleakness and cruelty of 10th Century Iceland to life in this tense, gloomy story. ArtsHub noted that “one could definitely sense what life was like before ideas of equality and emancipation, before food was easy to access, when the law was something violent and worked out between the menfolk.” The AU Review called the novel “gripping” and a “marvellous feat of character and story-telling”.
“The snow is in drifts against the rocks. I use it to wipe the blood from my hands. Now Sindri’s the one pulling at me, wanting to go faster, and I’m crying with fear and disgust at the thought of what happened. I look at the sword and feel sick.“