Review Detail

Fighting to follow your dreams
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
A huge part of the plot concerns the role of women in society. Frigg is a female dwarf in a culture where only males can become leaders or learn to fight. They’re expected to be domestic but Frigg hates the idea of cooking, sewing, and taking care of a home. She longs for adventure and sometimes spies on the boys while they’re getting battle training. Her tutor offers lessons beyond domestication skills so Frigg is more worldly and independent than most female dwarves. That doesn’t usually help when trying to reason with her father, the leader of the dwarves, and the realm of Nadavir.
The author casts humans as evil beings as unicorns, elves, and other magical creatures have ventured underground to find refuge living with the dwarves. Humans are destroying trees and digging up the earth, forcing the creatures to flee their homes. Frigg’s quest to find Anasgar will take her through the human world with the knowledge that she’ll likely be killed by them if discovered. She has no experience aboveground and the group she’s formed, reluctantly, offers a little bit of hope for success. A pixie, elf, unicorn, and glowworm provide their own special talents to the quest. It’s unlikely Frigg will complete the journey without encountering humans and they will present problems and surprises she never expects. Readers will enjoy the creative twists in the plot.
I especially appreciate the concept of the legendary world of Anasgar. The dwarves know their ancestors lived there many years ago and no living dwarf remembers why communication between the two realms was halted. Many fear Anasgar is inhabited by malevolent dwarves and reopening contact with them will doom the peace-loving Nadavir. However, the dwarves need help to defeat the invading trolls. These conflicting ideas make Frigg’s mission to find Anasgar similar to opening Pandora’s Box. Will finding these ancestors be the dwarves’ salvation or will it release even greater threats?
What didn’t work as well:
Some of the narrative lacks detail or moves a little too quickly so the scenes aren’t as descriptive as they might be. The narrative is still engaging but it sometimes feels like something is missing. However, the overall story is still extremely entertaining and should appeal to most middle-grade readers.
The Final Verdict:
Frigg is a wonderful underdog character who is determined to save her friends and other magical creatures. Females take on prominent roles and prejudices are challenged by the circumstances. Lovers of mythical beings will enjoy the story, and I highly recommend you give it a shot!
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