Review of Shieldmaiden by Joyce Wilson in the Keswick Reminder:
"The story of Cumbria has been fundamentally shaped by the Viking occupation; we know that from our place names, words in our dialect and even our DNA. Marianne Whiting is a Swedish-born, Leicestershire-based writer with a deep love of the Lake District and the Cumbrian mountains. Her tale is born in the Loweawater/Buttermere valleys, but also includes a visit by the heroine 'Sigrid Kveldulfsdaughter' to her mother's homeland; to visit her grandfather the King of Norway.
For those who know these two valleys well this tale tells a colourful story of what it might be like to have lived there in the tenth Century. After reading this novel any future visit we make will sharply recall the fictional story of Sigrid, which is likely to be close to that lived by real people, those who lived, loved and died amid these towering fells. It's tale of murder, the merciless slaughter of war, love, hatred, binding honour, also marking the change from the old Norse gods, Odin and Thor to a slow and often unwilling acceptance of the new Christianity forced upon them by a succession of converted kings.
Sigrid is an unusual female child; she learns how to use a sword and to fight in the tradition of the ancient Viking warriors who had accepted maiden warriors into their ranks in earlier times. Her bravery and skill leads her into battles which are brutal, bloody and very graphically described by a writer who has meticulously and lovingly researched her source materials.
The storyline is captivating and doesn't allow the reader to 'escape'. It's a novel that cannot be put down until the very last sentence! I sat up to finish it! This compelling saga would be a lovely Christmas present for anyone who enjoys a good adventure story with a unique local historical input."