Synopses & Reviews
A brave girl must defy an empire to save her homeland in a sweeping fantasy that combines breathless action with richly-imagined characters.
After the death of her beloved father, headstrong princess Thirrin Freer Strong-In-The-Arm becomes warrior queen of her homeland, Icemark, defending it from a formidable invader. Despite Thirrin's bravery and the support of Oskan, the Witch's son, the task proves more difficult than Thirrin ever dreamed. She must assemble a force to rival her opponent. And, in the chill winter of Icemark, she only has until spring to unite the strange beasts and frightening creatures who live just outside her country. Ultimately, it is Thirrin's vision and determination that will see her through to victory.
"British bookseller Hill's debut novel is a sprawling military fantasy that benefits from a likable heroine and will appeal most to readers who enjoy getting swept up in a good, lengthy yarn. Icemark is about to be invaded by General Scipio Bellorum and his armies of the Polypontus Empire, a kingdom that 'had so far brought enlightenment to over fifty countries and provinces, crushing the irrational beliefs of their populations whether they wanted it or not.' Thirrin, the 13-year-old daughter of the king of Icemark, has a near-death scrape with a werewolf, but when the creature spares her life, she comes to trust him and brings about an uneasy truce between the soldiers of Icemark and the Wolf-folk. When her father dies in battle, Thirrin ascends to leadership and musters allies for the upcoming fight against Bellorum including the Vampire King and Queen to their north, who were not long ago their sworn enemies. Hill's swift-moving narrative is heavy on war room and battlefield scenes, which will delight fans of military struggle, but may wear on more casual fantasy readers. The third-person narrative draws upon a mish-mash of mythologies: in addition to werewolves and vampires (and even references to Valhalla), animated trees, ghosts and leopard people figure into the plot. However, Hill braids these elements smoothly, and his winning heroine will lead readers through this 500+ page epic. Ages 12-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The Icemark is a kingdom in great danger: its king has died, and its enemy lies in wait. Now the kingdom's fate rests on the shoulders of one young girl in this coming-of-age tale that marks Hill's dazzling debut.