Gina (My Precious Blog)'s Reviews > Peaceweaver

Peaceweaver by Rebecca Barnhouse
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's review
Sep 16, 2011

really liked it
Read from April 08 to 14, 2012



Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (March 27, 2012)
Length: 338 pages
Format: E-ARC
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Series: Companion Novel
Completed: April 2012
Challenges: 2012 E-Book Challenge, 2012 YA Mythology Challenge, 2012 Outdo Yourself Challenge,

Sixteen year old, sister-daughter to the King, Hild, reacts on a whim to a vision, saving the future king from assasination by killing a man with her sword. Instead of receiving praise, she finds herself exiled. Her kingdom believes she is possessed, sending her away as a Peaceweaver to another tribe. (A "Peaceweaver" is a woman who is married off to an enemy tribe to establish a peace treaty or end a blood feud.) Forced to leave her tribe and all her childhood friends, Hild is horribly distraught. But she quickly discovers there are far worse things to worry about then her present predicament.

From Rebecca's website "Reading was like breathing to Rebecca when she was growing up. It still is. She loved the Little House books, and fought with her brother over books in the Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators series. Later, she discovered science fiction and fantasy, from The Lord of the Rings to Arthur C. Clarke to Ursula K. LeGuin’s Earthsea series, and many, many other books she and her best friend shared. They still do.

Rebecca first encountered The Book of Margery Kempe during graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied Anglo-Saxon manuscripts and medieval literature written in Old and Middle English, Old Norse, and other fascinating languages.

A native of Vero Beach, Florida, she now lives in Ohio, where she teaches and writes about medieval topics and about children’s literature set in the Middle Ages."

Peaceweaver takes place around the 400 century. Its the companion novel to The Coming of the Dragon, but it can be read as a stand alone, as the author does provide plenty of background story along the way. Barnhouse's writing is descriptive enough to paint a vivid picture of the world Hild resides, but at the same time it never really was bogged down by superfluous details. The book started off moderately paced and then quickly escalated to fast paced for the majority of the story. Tension and suspense build along the journey, leading up to an action packed finish which was all over far too soon, leaving the reader crying for more!

The main character in this story, Hild was strong-willed, self confident, determined young lady. Her initial judgmental tendencies are usually overpowered by her strong desire to do what's right. Caring, compassionate with the ability to forgive, Hild has what it takes to be the kind of heroine who can warm a reader's heart. She's bound to make an impression with her sword wielding, monster fighting abilities. She's not your cookie cutter woman of this time. She challenges authority, is a quick thinker and is far more courageous than most men.

This story was more about the main character than anyone else. Even though there were many other characters, their main purpose was to show how Hild reacted to them all. As a reader we see she treated her mother well, loved her family and was a great best friend. Even though her father died when she was young, he still forged a strong bond with Hild, teaching her how to wield a sword. Overall, Hild was an admirable character, who when faced with tough choices, always seemed to base her decisions on what she knew to be right and honorable.

PLOT: A sixteen year old girl is sent to an enemy tribe as a Peaceweaver when she save's the King's son and heir to the throne from being murdered, after having a vision. This story follows the trials and tribulations of her journey as she couriered by horseback, across dangerous terrain, to another land.

Readers seeking historical fantasy, involving Norse Mythology and legends of Beowulf will love this book. Teachers, book clubs and those wanting to discuss the virtue of making choices for the better good will also find this story useful. With a strong female heroine, sword fights and ferocious monsters, Peaceweaver should appeal to a wide audience, for sure.

Peaceweaver is a book I received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Even though I had not read the companion novel, The Coming of the Dragon, prior to reading this book, I didn't feel handicapped going into this book. Peaceweaver could certainly be read as a stand alone novel. The author does a great job of providing back story to fill the reader in enough to enjoy reading the book without reading the other one first.

I loved the story, it reminded me of Cayla Kluver's Legacy Series, minus the overly descriptive writing and annoying narrator. Rebecca Barnhouse knows how to tell a story. She had me entranced for the entire read, transporting me to another time. This tale has all the great elements for a fantastic historical fiction epic tale: an admirable, sword wielding female narrator, a suspenseful journey, a terrifying monster and a trek to an unknown land.

The only drawback to this epic tale was the abrupt ending. It seemed rushed. Just when it was really starting to get really exciting, the story came to a close. I really want to see how everything turns out for Hild in her new kingdom, how she fares with the new king. I need to know if her people make it back to the safety of their own land and of course, the monster, what will become of the monster? I hope this means there is the potential for another book. Please say, "yes!".


4 out of 5 Rings
Four rings with one being deducted for an abrupt ending. When the last page was turned I still felt like the author left plenty of story untold. Sure hope this means there will be more books?

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