BOOK REVIEW: Icefall by Matthew Kirby


In his middle grade novel, Icefall, Matthew Kirby demonstrates his talent for storytelling at its finest. This story shines! No wonder it received such recognition as:

Nominee: 2013-2014 Utah Beehive Book Award for Children's Fiction
Winner:   2012 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery
Winner:   2012 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Children's Literature
Winner:   2012 Judy Lopez Memorial Award
Finalist:   2011 Agatha Award
Winner:   2011 Parents Choice Gold Medal

Icefall is the perfect title for the book and the cover is beautiful; it depicts a critical point in the story. Matthew does a great job with steady pacing that builds the story up to the cover's crescendo.

I have Scandinavian ancestry and appreciate the setting of the story. I could envision the mysterious backdrop of the glacier, mountains, and steading. The description of the hall, daily drudgery, characters, and scenery, all helped to make me feel like I was there, experiencing the drama with them. It was exciting to learn about Norse legends and mythology.

The story held my attention with the tension, betrayal, sabotage, and intrigue, as I was steadily lead on the journey with the young Norse princess, Solveig. Her relationship with Hake, the fearsome captain of the berserkers guard, was fascinating. Throughout the story Solveig discovered her various talents of being brave, honest, loyal, strong, noble, and compassionate. She gained confidence and wisdom. I would love to see a sequel to learn if Solveig ends up as Crown Princess, or even Queen. I felt that she exhibited more royal ability than did her siblings.

At the end of each chapter Matthew captivated me with the beauty and language of Solveig's stories, so poetic and lyrical. I found myself looking forward to those monumental pages.

Icefall is a wonderfully crafted story and I enjoyed the time I spent in the incredible world that Matthew Kirby created.

June 17-21 I attended the Writing & Illustrating for Young Readers Conference, held in Sandy, UT. I met Matthew and his literary agent, Stephen Fraser. It was enlightening to read the book that they are both passionate about. I really enjoyed the book and I appreciate the time and effort spent to create it.

Add Icefall to your summer reading list and get ready for an adventure!



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