I’ve just discovered the joy of Julia Golding’s books.  I knew the Cat books but I’d never read anything else by her until last month.  I was asked to chair one of her sessions at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and, in preparation, I read Wolf Cry and The Glass Swallow.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not interested in history until about 1800 so Wolf Cry wouldn’t have been an obvious choice for me normally.  It’s set about one thousand years too early and is the story of a Viking family.  Of course, for me, its setting is crucial: the north of Norway.  It’s an area I love and many of the locations in the book are places I’ve been.  So, originally, I was sucked in by the setting. 

But the characters were compelling and it was they who gripped me.  Perhaps Freya felt a bit too modern (but how do I know how a Viking girl might have thought and felt), but she and the others were real to me and I have to confess to crying over the unexpected ending.

I thoroughly enjoyed Wolf Cry but The Glass Swallow was even better.  It’s a fantasy and a companion piece to Dragonfly.  Fantasy is something else I don’t usually choose to read but I am so glad that I didn’t miss this.  It’s beautifully written and cleverly plotted.  Under the story there’s a whole discussion about who survives and prospers when society breaks down but it’s quite possible to read it without consciously considering that.  So much did I like The Glass Swallow that I bought Dragonfly and I hope that there will be more titles in this series.

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