Book review - The Sleeping Army by Francesca Simon
Review by Rebecca
One of the bestselling children's authors in the world, the creator of the "Horrid Henry series", launches an exciting new novel for children aged 8+. Freya is an ordinary girl living in modern Britain, but with a twist: people still worship the Viking gods. She's caught in her parents' divorce, and shuttling between bickering adults is no fun. One evening, stuck with her dad on his night shift at the British Museum, she is drawn to the Lewis Chessmen and Heimdall's Horn. Unable to resist, she blows the horn, waking three chess pieces from their enchantment; the slaves Roskva and Alfi, and Snot the Berserk. They are all summoned to Asgard, land of the Viking gods, and told they must go on a perilous journey to restore the gods to youth. If Freya refuses she will be turned into an ivory chess piece but, if she accepts her destiny and fails, the same terrible fate awaits her.
Available on Amazon.com:The Sleeping Army
A truly enchanting and adorable story perfect for young readers (age 10+) which opens a whole new captivating world not just into norse mythology and the norse gods but also an England where the ruling religion is the norse faith and not Christianity. Francesca Simon introduces these ideas in a very charming and clever manner. The characers are fun to encounter and reveal a suprising amount of depth for such a short book. It has some great sketches of dramatic scenes at the start of each chapter which makes it even more child friendly. And I particularly love the beserk warrior called Snot who displays a typical viking warrior attitude to death and battle. If this doesn't show young readers that the vikings weren't just pirate bullies then I don't know what will!
Want to adventure throught the lands of the Vikings? The height of the Vikings is an amazing period of time and there is a lot of great fiction that is based on historical facts from that period and place. Rebecca Wilson has written a guide to the genre and to some of the best works in the genre.
If you are fascinated by the subject of Vikings you should check out her blog at: http://www.soulchaserbecky.blogspot.com/
You can follow her on Twitter @soulchaserbecky.
Related Fantasy Guides:
- Return to the Viking Main Page
- Norse Fantasy books. Check out the guide here
- and Viking Historical novels, recommendations and reviews here