Wolf Cry

Written by Julia Golding
Review by Val Loh

In a village in Norway 880 AD, Toki, son of Jarl Ohthere, is left in charge of his village and is caring for his younger sister, the spirited Freydis. Their father is away with his Viking warriors trading. Amongst his previous purchases is a ‘Blue Man,’ Enno, a headstrong African slave, who is a gift for his daughter. Unbeknown to him, and totally unexpected by his children, his enemy ‘Sulke the Pirate’ destroys his village, Bjarkoy, destroying his home, killing or enslaving his people and kidnapping his son.

Because of the quick thinking of Toki, Freydis is hidden and she survives, but not unscathed. Her life, fortunes and destiny are changed forever. She is brave, despite being injured, but Freydis and Toki are separated; neither knowing if the other has survived – and so their journeys begin. This novel is filled with action. The characters of Freydis, Toki, Enno, Annui and Tuoni are spirited, believable and engaging. They are all young, making mistakes, whilst proving themselves and discovering the joy of love, in its many forms, but also the destruction which hatred causes. The wisdom of the Sami characters, Tapiola and Pekka, add maturity and depth which adds balance against the violence and anger of the senior Viking’s, Ohthere and Sulke. The brutality of this era of history is woven into this complex yet riveting story of love, hurt and loss. The various characters develop as their individual trials eventually blend to bring the reader to a satisfactorily surprising and very touching ending.