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Publisher: Harper, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,
Summary: Meet Dane, a young man who just finished his first hunt, a rite of passage for boys his age. Just after learning about his early life, the book takes a turn and the action begins. Thidrek is an evil king who executes people and rules by fear. Thidrek decides to attend the annual Viking sports competition in Dane's village. He not only humiliated Dane's father, but the entire village, and kidnaps Astrid, Dane's girlfriend. Thidrek burns the village. He kills many people, including Dane's father, and steals the Shield of Odin. Odin, the Norse god of tactics, created this shield to protect its owner from all attacks. Dane and his friends want it back. Can they get it? This is a Viking fantasy for young readers (4th through 7th grade).
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 8 to 13; read yourself: 10 and up
Young Reader Reaction: This book was very entertaining and funny. This would be good as a gift and I'd recommend borrowing it from the library. I liked the humor and the plentiful action a lot, and there were interesting references to Vikings and Norse mythology. I would recommend it for mostly boys because it contains flatulence jokes and other humor along those lines.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: There is plenty of action and kid-funny humor to keep readers turning the page.
Cons: There is a reference to alcohol consumption, and the story contains violence. Those parts may not appeal to some readers.
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, adventure, middle grade series, mythology, coming of age, cultures and tradition, death and loss
Date(s) Reviewed: April 2013
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.