Day 801: Wolf Winter

Cover for Wolf WinterBest Book of the Week!
It is 1717. A few days earlier, Maija and her family arrived at their new home on the side of Blackåsen Mountain in the Lapland area of Sweden. They moved away from Finland because Maija’s husband Paavo, formerly a fisherman, began to see dead men in the water. But here on the mountain he is ineffective and frightened.

Maija’s daughters Fredericka and Dorothea are out with the goats when they find the body of a man. Although the nearby settlers are quick to claim an animal attack, it is clear to Maija that the man, Eriksson, was killed by a person using a lance. She has already felt an unease on the mountain and believes they must find the murderer. Unfortunately for the search, Eriksson seems to have been disliked by all.

Maija’s family has had some experience with the older ways, even though they are forbidden by the church. Fredericka, however, was being instructed in them by her grandmother without her mother’s knowledge. Fredericka finds herself being haunted by Eriksson, who wants her to find his murderer, and tries to seek help in the supernatural from the Lapps.

Another important character is the new priest for the region. He comes to visit the area and tries to help with the investigation. At first, he seems cold and unready for a position in such a wilderness. But he is actually bewildered. He was a court priest and a friend to the king until he was abruptly sent away from court.

When the snow comes early and kills the harvest, Paavo decides to travel to the coast to earn some money. Maija is left to struggle through a particularly harsh winter with the girls. There are wolves on the mountain, and some of the settlers believe the mountain itself is evil. No one has found Eriksson’s killer, but Maija is still looking.

link to NetgalleyThis novel creates an atmospheric, fully realized world that captured me from the first words. Although it is centered around a mystery, it is just as successful as a historical novel, with a touch of the mystical, set in an unusual place and time. You can easily imagine the cold and hardships. This novel is excellent.

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8 thoughts on “Day 801: Wolf Winter

  1. Naomi November 5, 2015 / 12:23 pm

    This sounds so good! I just went to add it to my Goodreads shelf, but it is already there. 🙂

    • whatmeread November 5, 2015 / 12:27 pm

      Yes, it is really good! I read it back in July, but had to wait until the book was published before I could post my review.

      • Naomi November 5, 2015 / 12:38 pm

        I think you might have mentioned this one to me at some point a while ago (which is how it ended up on my list already).

      • whatmeread November 5, 2015 / 12:40 pm

        That’s what I thought, perhaps.

  2. Carolyn O November 6, 2015 / 9:22 am

    Ooh, I’ve had my eye on this one for awhile–sounds so good! Thanks for the review!

    • whatmeread November 6, 2015 / 9:25 am

      You’re welcome. I really enjoyed it.

  3. TJ @ MyBookStrings November 13, 2015 / 10:45 am

    Glad to hear you liked this book; I did as well. While I didn’t always completely understand Maija’s actions, I really liked the atmosphere of the book. And every time I thought I had the mystery figured out, something happened and I had to start guessing all over again.

    • whatmeread November 13, 2015 / 10:52 am

      Yes, I thought she did a good job of keeping the murderer under wraps.

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