Author: Janina Ramirez
Illustrator: David Wyatt
This is becoming a fantastic series of accessible and enjoyable adventure stories set at the time of the Vikings. Alva is a fierce, inquisitive and courageous girl – with Viking shield maiden coursing through her veins. As with all (well some) heroines, she has a loyal, reliable and equally formidable sidekick in her tame wolf – Fen. Together, they embark on daring feats to track violent kidnappers, mysterious treasures and ancient relics (Riddle of the Runes) and cross the wild seas to unearth clues about Alva’s missing father (Way of the waves).
The series is written by accomplished historian, Dr Janina Ramirez, and so the well-written stories are laced with historical accuracy and contain helpful glossaries and further information at the end.
Each chapter in the first book is depicted by a rune – which can be decoded to decipher a hidden message – and in the second book they are headed by a different kenning each – which the reader is challenged to interpret at the end.
Both books are also enhanced by the beautiful illustrations by David Wyatt. His unique style and double-page spreads really bring the book to life and show a great depth to the characters and their emotion.
These books will really appeal to children from 9+ who like historical fiction, mysteries, strong characters, adventure, action or a great read!
I’m really looking forward to seeing where Alva’s adventures take her next and hope there are many more books to come!
Huge thanks to Oxford University Press for a copy of these books and some promotional posters for our school library, in return for an honest review.