|The Draken at Mystic Seaport|
DAUGHTER OF A THOUSAND YEARS is in large part (half) a book about Erik the Red's daughter, Freydis. She also happens to be the (half) sister of Leif Eriksson aka Leif the Lucky -- who you probably are familiar with via Leif Eriksson's Day, that holiday around Columbus Day that celebrates Leif as the actual first European to stumble across America. (Which is maybe not even true either but for the moment, we'll let that lie.) So why write about Freydis when I could write a book about Leif or Erik?
There are a couple of reasons. A multitude, even, but the first and foremost is that Freydis Fights. She is such a rich and defiant character, even in the sagas, where most characters are not really painted beyond their broadest strokes. But Freydis had personality. She went against the grain, did things that seemed ridiculous and mind-boggling and even awful. And I wanted to know why. I wanted to know what provoked her, what compelled her to act in the ways that she acted, contrary to the ways in which she was expected to act or behave.
You see, in the Vinland Sagas, there are plenty of clearly pious characters -- good people who are wise and act appropriately. Leif is one of them. Not exactly a hero, because he's not really the focus of the story, but certainly a Good Man (tm). Gudrid and Karlsefni, too, are very pious, very Good People (tm). And Freydis -- well, there's some debate as to whether Freydis even lived, or whether she was wholly invented to act as a foil to Gudrid and the other Good People, the pious, Godly people. Which made her that much more perfect for fiction, naturally! Built in conflict and turmoil, and a chance to understand what might have made her UNgodly and UNpious. What made her trouble, when everyone around her was trying to become Great and doing work in God's name?
I had a theory.
You'll have to read DAUGHTER OF A THOUSAND YEARS to decide for yourself whether you agree.
Don't forget you can request a review copy still, via Netgalley, and we'll be blogtouring beginning February 16th! In the meantime, maybe you want to mark DAUGHTER to-read on Goodreads? Or dare I dream that you'd even go so far as to pre-order?
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