“I’ve always been intrigued by my Icelandic family history and by the wonderfully weird customs and myths in Icelandic culture,” said Brooke Carter, author of The Stone of Sorrow.
The Maple Ridge writer told The News that when she was in grad school, she studied a lot of Scandinavian literature and was obsessed with the sagas.
“The little germ of the idea for this book has been growing for a long time,” Carter assured.
The Stone of Sorrow follows seventeen-year-old Runa Unnursdóttir, who spends her days daydreaming of sailing away and exploring the world instead of studying the runes and learning her spells.
When a rival clan led by an evil witch raids the village and kidnaps her sister, Runa is forced to act and travel to the site of an ancient runecasting competition to try to win back the magical gem.
“During my MFA candidacy at UBC, I was fortunate to study with Susan Juby and she encouraged me to expand on a writing exercise I did about a young Runecaster who longed to sail away from her home,” Carter recalled.
That became the first pages of her own Icelandic saga.
“This series follows in much the same vein as the ancient ones—it’s about struggling through difficult times and fighting darkness with magic and hope,” she added.
Carter said it was important to her that any YA book she writes—particularly when fantasy has a lot of sexist tropes and traditionally patriarchal themes—reflects the young people who are reading it today.
”I wanted a feminist Viking-era fantasy, one that was concerned with female agency and self-determination,” Carter explained.
She also said Maple Ridge played a role in her inspiration – nature and wildlife, particularly Gold Greek, directly shaped some of her writing.
Additional to The Stone of Sorrow, Carter has also wrote Another Miserable Love Song, Learning Seventeen, Lucky Break, The Unbroken Hearts Club, and Double or Nothing.
“COVID-19 has hit the book industry hard,” she added, “and it has had a huge impact on our local libraries and bookstores. I’ve been fortunate to work closely with Black Bond Books in Valley Fair Mall – they have a display in store for The Stone of Sorrow – and they’ve been incredibly supportive of authors.”
The Stone of Sorrow is out now and can be bought from Black Bond, direct from Orca, or online anywhere books are sold.
It is book one in her Runecaster series with Orca and Book Two, The Saga of Lies, comes out in April of 2021, and Book Three, The Sisters of War, is due in April 2022.
People can visit https://www.brookecarter.com to find out more.
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