The Fetch by Chris Humphreys, 2006
My daughter was sifting through my stack of books and picked this one to read. When I asked her why that particular book, she answered, "It has runes on the cover."
Me: "It does?"
So, you see, she was already a leg up on me when she started the book. She l-o-v-e-d this story and cannot wait for the sequel.
I enjoyed The Fetch very much and I understand why it was such a hit with her and why it will gain a devoted fanbase as it becomes better known. If you are a junior high /high school librarian I suggest you add this book to your purchase order right now because your Eragon, Lord of the Rings, Sea of Trolls readers will love this book.
Sky is seeing thing or dreaming thing. He sleepwalks and animals are talking to him. His parents have already had him checked out by psychiatrists and doctors so he doesn't tell them about his latest visions.
He is drawn to an old sea chest that belonged to his deceased grandfather Sigurd where he discovers a hidden bag of runestones and a journal. When his cousin Kristin arrives for a visit, he shares the find with her and the two of them set about unlocking the secrets of the runes.
Their research uncovers the existence of the Fetch, the spirit of a person that can be visible as a body double or can inhabit other beings or animals. Their experiments with runecasts send Sky's fetch traveling back in time to inhabit their ancestor, Bjorn, a young Viking. Through Bjorn's eyes, Sky lives through Bjorn's first Viking raid and to his horror, discovers his inner-Berserker.
As they delve deeper into rune magic they are drawn into the mystery of their grandfather Sigurd's disappearance and a danger, neither could have foreseen.
The book has lots of sword clashing, ax-thowcking action. Humphrey's experience as a fight choreographer is apparent. In the author's note at the end of the book he writes:
When I first considered writing this novel, I remembered what I'd read in my teens--historical fiction, preferably with plenty of battles, self-sacrifice, blood-shed; and horror, the scarier the better.
My daughter cannot wait for the next book in the series, Vendetta, which will be out in August 2007.
I like Humphrey's writing. Being the Richard Sharpe military historical fiction fan that I am, I have started reading his Jack Absolute series. I am enjoying seeing the American Revolution from "the other side." He blogs about his writing at Quintessence of Dust.
C.C. Humphreys Website