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ICEFALL Hardcover – 1 March 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 45 ratings

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Praise for Icefall



A 2012 Edgar Award Winner for Best Juvenile Mystery

A 2011 Agatha Award Nominee

New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing

2012 ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults

Judy Lopez Memorial Award Winner



"[O]ne of the best reads of the season . . ." -- Deseret News



"[A] claustrophobic, thought-provoking coming-of-age adventure . . ." -- Publishers Weekly



"[A] taut, compelling mystery and survival story . . . Readers will be left thinking about this one long after the chill has left their bones." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books



"[A] superb mystery enriched with powerful, believable characters, plot, and setting, and guarantees that readers will be thoroughly engaged to the final word." -- Books to Borrow, Books to Buy, Nationally Syndicated Column



"Interesting, well-developed characters abound. . . . [and] the chilly, claustrophobic, ancient setting is vividly created." -- Kirkus Reviews





Praise for The Clockwork Three



* "In this riveting historical fantasy . . . debut novelist Kirby has assembled all the ingredients for a rousing adventure, which he delivers with rich, transporting prose. Mixing fantasy and steampunk elements with subtle urban mythology, Kirby's immersive story can be read as a modern morality play or a satisfying stand-alone tale." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review



"[M]emorable characters, hearty action, and palpable atmospherics." -- Booklist



School Library Journal, November 2011:

Solveig and her two siblings are sent to the far end of a fiord for safety's sake while their father battles to save his kingdom. Solveig knows that the elite warriors who brought them there are entrusted to guard her younger brother, Harald, the crown prince. Older sister Asa, favored for her beauty and marriage potential, causes Solveig to agonize about her own insignificance and lack of purpose. Supplies dwindle while waiting for victory news, and anxiety increases as a warship full of the king's berserkers arrives just as ice closes over the fiord. Stranded for the winter, the untamed warriors are restless and unpredictable, and begin to raise mayhem in the camp, killing Solveig's pet goat and accusing one another of treason. Calmed only by listening to stories told by Alrec the skald (poet of the living past), the boorish Vikings become attentive to Solveig as well, bolstering her confidence and providing a means for the author to (ingeniously) integrate tales from Norse mythology, featuring gods Odin and Thor, supernatural creatures, and fallen warriors. In a page-turning climax, the fiord thaws and enemies arrive to overpower the berserkers and kidnap Harald. The ensuing battle and survival scenes are vividly portrayed, and characters fight back with the epic heroism of gods. Solveig is an empathetic heroine and Hake, the hulky berserker war chief, is also a well-developed and (eventually) endearing character. Fans of John Flanagan's "Ranger's Apprentice" series (Philomel) will enjoy this adventure tale.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY



The king's three children and a small group of warrior-protectors take refuge in a winter-bound steading on a northern fjord and discover there's a traitor in their midst.

Beautiful Asa, the eldest princess, faces an arranged marriage, although she loves another. Harald, the youngest, will one day be king. But the narrator, middle daughter Solveig, is neither attractive nor particularly useful, until she begins to realize she has talent as a storyteller and could have a future as a skald, or court bard. As food runs low and bitter winter tightens its hold, someone in the group begins to sabotage the remaining supplies, and Solveig has a dream that foretells a tragic end to their efforts to survive. Interesting, well-developed characters abound, and Solveig's strong narrative voice adds authenticity as she grows into her new role, not just telling stories of the mythical Scandinavian past but creating tales to alter the behavior of those around her. Valid clues and occasional red herrings heighten the sense of mystery. The chilly, claustrophobic, ancient setting is vividly created, and the sense of impending doom generates a gripping suspense overarching the developing--and deteriorating--relationships among the group, marking Kirby (The Clockwork Three, 2010) as a strong emerging novelist.

Recommend this one to teens who crave a good mystery set in an icily different time and place. (Alternative historical mystery. 11-18)

About the Author

Matthew J. Kirby is the critically acclaimed author of the middle-grade novels Icefall, which won the Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery and the PEN Literary Award for Children's Literature; The Clockwork Three, which was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start; The Lost Kingdom; Last Descendants, an Assassin's Creed novel; The Quantum League: Spell Robbers; and Cave of Wonders, the fifth book in the Infinity Ring series. He was born in Utah and grew up in Maryland, California, and Hawaii. Matthew is currently at work on his next novel.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
45 customer ratings
5 star 75% (75%) 75%
4 star 12% (12%) 12%
3 star 5% (5%) 5%
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1 star 8% (8%) 8%
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Top international reviews

Knöterich
5.0 out of 5 stars Spannungsgeladene Geschichte in nordischem Setting
Reviewed in Germany on 4 March 2014
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Margaret Wiebe
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on 16 January 2018
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reader
5.0 out of 5 stars original fantastic
Reviewed in Canada on 7 October 2013
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Pat Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Icefall
Reviewed in the United States on 1 November 2013
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Niki E.
5.0 out of 5 stars highly recommend
Reviewed in the United States on 10 February 2018
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Jane Ellen Freeman
5.0 out of 5 stars Icefall
Reviewed in the United States on 24 July 2013
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M. Seina
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book!
Reviewed in the United States on 4 December 2013
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Steve Hansen
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book!
Reviewed in the United States on 4 May 2020
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Linda Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent Viking era coming of age novel and mystery
Reviewed in the United States on 9 February 2017
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Barb
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best books that I can remember reading
Reviewed in the United States on 8 July 2014
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Myrna
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United States on 15 July 2018
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The Write Engle
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story
Reviewed in the United States on 16 June 2013
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vicki andrew
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT a Dane Maddock series BOOK
Reviewed in the United States on 14 July 2019
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ReaderinNewbuyport
5.0 out of 5 stars Maybe a great book--but it's NOT part of the Dane Maddock series.
Reviewed in the United States on 22 September 2017
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Michael McLarnon
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done
Reviewed in the United States on 4 February 2014
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