Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Skraelings: Clashes in the Old Arctic by Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley, Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley

Kannujaq is hunting.  He loves the Arctic:  The snow, the silence, the animals and his dogs.  He's very content alone.  He's an Inuit.  Then he happens upon a camp of Tuniits, a race of ancient Inuit ancestors known for their strength and shyness.  He would have avoided them completely, but they were being attacked!

Inhabit Media and Net Galley gave me the chance to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 1st, so make a note to get it then.

I've always had an interest in Eskimos.  I have been backpacking and living in the wilds but I didn't do it while it snowing (except once).  The Arctic is cold and unforgiving, the land doesn't give up much and the animals can kill you.  Surviving there takes special skill.  In this story, they have another group of enemies:  The Vikings.

The Tuniits took in and saved a Viking who was close to death.  When he recovered, he went back home.  However, he's come back and he keeps killing everyone in the camps except the children.  No one knows why.

Kannujaq is a young man but he alone comes up with a solution to save the camp.  They have to help him and it's bloody, but he has no choice.  It's kill or be killed.  As the lone Viking leader floats off in his boat with no crew and no way to guide the book, it's another sentence to death.  As he looks at the Viking leader he learns the reason why this Viking kept returning.  It's not just for the stolen goods the previous leader had hoarded.

The whole story is steeped in tradition and ways of the past.  It has an almost mystical feel.  I liked it a lot.  The authors did a very nice job with this.

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