The Soul Thief by Cecelia Holland

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Synopsis

They were one soul in two bodies, Corban and Mav, twins born to the lord of a Irish coastal farmstead. Mav had the second sight and was her father's delight; Corban, though, was a deep disappointment, finally exiled for refusing his father's command to go and take up a sword for the High King.

But on the night of Corban's exile, as he slept in the woods and brooded on injustice, the dreadful dragon ships of the Vikings bore down on his home with fire and the sword. The farm was plundered and burned; all the people were slain, save the young women--they were raped and dragged off to a life of slavery.

From the coast of Ireland to the occupied village of Dublin, across the Irish Sea to a Viking stronghold in Britain, and then across the North Sea to the Kingdom of the Danes. Corban is drawn in the track of his ravaged sister, fighting for his own life and to earn the influence and money he will need to buy her freedom. His quest is not hopeless, for Mav's second sight, made stronger by the dreadful fate that has befallen her, has brought her to the attention of the Lady of Hedeby. The Lady, wealthy and influential in the Kingdom of the Danes, has bought Mav; she intends to use the twins , and their link with each other, to extend that influence far beyond Hedeby.

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About Cecelia Holland

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Born in Henderson, Nevada, Cecelia Holland was educated at Pennsylvania State University and Connecticut College, where she received her B.A. degree. She has served as a visiting professor of English at Connecticut College since 1979. Holland's historical novels have received broad critical acclaim. According to one critic, she "proves that there can be more to historical thrillers than swordplay and seduction." (Time) Among her novels is City of God (1979), which is set in Rome during the period of the Borgia family. Told from the point of view of Nicolas, a secretary to the Florentine ambassador to Rome, this novel brings to life the period of the Renaissance, including the political intrigue that characterized Rome at the time. Other works include Until the Sun Falls (1969), a story of the ancient Mongols and their empire, The Firedrake (1966), her first published novel, Great Maria (1974), The Bear Flag (1990), and Pacific Street (1991). Holland is very adept at capturing the period she writes about, including the clothing, furnishings, and customs of the time. One critic has noted that Holland "is never guilty of the fatuity which plagues most historical fiction: she never nudges the reader into agreeing that folks way back then were really just like you and me, only they bathed less often.
 
Published March 1, 2004 by Forge Books. 308 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Soul Thief

SF Signal

The modern reader who reads modern books by authors who only read modern books runs the risk of merely accepting the assumptions of the modern age without examining or questioning them.

Mar 04 2009 | Read Full Review of The Soul Thief

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