Book Review: The Curse of The Viking Grave

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This book was my book clubs pick for February.

It wasn’t until I had this book in my hands that I realized it was actually a sequel. However, you certainly do not need to have read the previous novel, Lost In The Barrens, to follow this story as it acts as a standalone.

As with all the previous Farley Mowat books that I have read, this one is filled with beautiful descriptions of the places, people and things that the characters encounter. It brings a strong sense of realism throughout.

While this book is considered a young adult novel, adults can certain read and enjoy this book. In fact, it doesn’t even feel like a young adult novel at all, only thing that may put it in that genre is the fact that the main characters are teenagers, yet they are far more mature than more their age.

There was a good flow throughout this story, though admittedly there were a couple of times when things seemed to get slow, but not enough to make me set down the book – it was more just a slight lull in the story before something happened and my interest was piqued again.

I really enjoyed the mix of characters that were in this book. Most of these characters were of Native descent, either Indians or Eskimos. Unlike most books written these days, this book has a great diversity in it’s characters, having only a handful of whites and then rest being of various native races. I liked Angeline, she was essentially the wrench thrown into the boys plans initially, but over time she earned her place among them, much to the annoyance of Jamie. There were times when Angeline’s insistence on earning her place among the boys and proving herself got a little annoying, more because of the repetitiveness of this than anything else. The boys of the group, Awasin, Peetryuk and Jamie, all had different quirks about them and yet they worked well with each other, playing off each others strengths and weaknesses. Sure they didn’t get along perfectly all the time, but that made everything feel more real.

There were times in this book that really stood out to me. One of these was where actions and body language made up for a large part of what was happening. I loved that there didn’t need to be any words spoken among the group to know what was going on. Also it really spoke of the authors ability to write out a scene when you could feel the emotion that was happening to one or more of the characters simply by the way they moved.

I’m no expect on native people, so I can only assume that what Farley Mowat wrote was accurate for the time, but I feel like it was. He is a well known author who is respected for his works about the environment and other topics, so I would assume that he would put the same amount of research and dedication to detail into portraying the natives properly as he does in describing the landscapes.

Overall this was a nice little story. I will be reading the prequel book at some point as well to find out more about the boys original adventure that was the reason behind most of the events of this book. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone, young and old, as it is a well written story.

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