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Raven Of The Waves-Michael Cadnum, Cadnum

  • Title: Raven Of The Waves
  • Author: Michael Cadnum, Cadnum
  • Released: 2001-06-01
  • Language:
  • Pages: 224
  • ISBN: 0531303349
  • ISBN13: 978-0531303344
  • ASIN: 0531303349

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Slash, chop, stab, kill with swords and axes--and yell for joy! In this rousing, historically authentic and appropriately gory novel about the Vikings, Michael Cadnum continues his exploration of cultures of violence (his other books include , a contemporary novella about the brutal world of amateur boxing, and , set during the crusades). Cadnum, one of our finest young adult writers, vividly recreates not only the outer trappings of Viking society, but the psychological mindset of a people whose values, myths, songs, and sagas centered on murderous seafaring raids.

Seventeen-year-old Lidsmod, however, is not so sure about this business of spectacular killing, although he does his best not to show it. He is on his first sea raid, aboard the new ship Raven, on the way with the other men of the village of Spjothof to plunder the English coast. Rumors have led them to a "gold fortress" or abbey, where 13-year-old Wiglaf is learning the healing arts under the protection of the good abbot Aethelwulf. Tension builds through the alternating perspectives of the two boys, as the attackers draw near and the victims huddle in dread, only to be cut down and chopped like meat by the wild Torsten and the other Vikings. Wiglaf is taken captive, and his compassionate healing of the Vikings' wounds plants a seed of understanding in Lidsmod's mind that leads to another compassionate but costly deed. Young teens, especially boys, will relish this thrilling and exquisitely crafted story. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

From Publishers Weekly In this swashbuckling, often violent adventure set in the eighth century, Cadnum (In a Dark Wood) shows how a clash of cultures profoundly affects two distant enemies: a young Viking warrior and a monk's apprentice. At age 17, Lidsmod is eager to embark on his first pillage. He is proud to be sailing on the Raven to a distant place rumored to hold much treasure. Meanwhile, 13-year-old Wiglaf, afflicted by a withered arm but pious and blessed with the gift of healing, goes about his life in his English village. Alternating Lidsmod's eventful voyage with bucolic scenes of Wiglaf's days, the author provides a sharp contrast between the mores and beliefs of the two boys. Readers will find themselves continually switching loyalties until, inevitably, the protagonists meet during a bloody battle. Unsurprisingly, Wiglaf proves to be more consistent and noble, remaining quick-witted and compassionate during and after his brutal kidnapping. Lidsmod's sentiments and values are more slippery. Although he can identify with the captive boy, his thirst for blood and glory never significantly wavers; and although he agrees that Wiglaf should be freed, he sees no wrong in keeping the holy relics his shipmates stole. If the moral to the story is somewhat muddy, graphic scenes of murder, torture and ruin are perhaps all too clear. Ages 14-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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