Monday, June 22, 2020


Garth Pettersen. The COLD HEARTH: #3 in The Atheling Chronicles. Tirgearr, 2020. 

Finally finished reading The Cold Hearth, after several pandemic weeks of being unable to read or to concentrate on anything.

Found myself both rushing to finish and avoiding the final chapters, so fearful was I that the book’s title foreshadowed tragedy. Would it, like a Shakespearean play, end in a wedding or in a funeral?

How do we begin to imagine human communities of more than a millennia ago, with different tribes and different languages, and even different landmasses (Norway, Normandy, and different parts of England). Politics, gender differences, battles and conquests, daily rituals of eating and sleeping: what would be the same and what would be different from us today? This story stresses our desires to build a home, to find a compatible partner, to accept or decline an inheritance, to take our pleasures of the senses and the natural environment, to defend ourselves from those who want what we have. Immersed in the reading, I could even imagine myself riding a horse, another thing that will never happen in the real world.

PS: All three covers in this series are gorgeous. 
PPS: The writer is a friend, and an inspiration. jmb

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