Juliet Marillier’s past work has integrated Irish mythology with tales of battle and sacrifice. In her newest book, although she remains in the general vicinity of the Emerald Isle, Marillier has shifted her focus to the Orkney Islands and their Viking settlers. Wolfskin is a tale of the love between a berserker and a priestess.
Eyvind’s greatest ambition is to be a Wolfskin, a mighty warrior directly inspired by the god Thor. When Eyvind achieves his goal, he thinks that life can offer nothing better than such service. But a childhood friend, Somerled, will lead him into a life beyond anything imagined. When they and others journey across the ocean to settle in the mysterious lands past the sunset, Eyvind confronts the possibility of a life without battle or his god.
Nessa, priestess of an ancient land, also is the niece of the islands’ high king. She, too, will find her world turned upside-down by Somerled when the Vikings arrive at her home. Although the expedition’s leader desires nothing but peace, Somerled has much greater ambitions. Murder and broken treaties soon threaten the islanders’ stability and well-being, and Nessa and Eyvind must try to forge some kind of path through the ruin that threatens to engulf them all in catastrophe.