"The Volkking struggled, but his sickness attacked him both day and night, a war band giving the enemy no respite of sleep." With the first sentence of Elske readers are tumbled into a vivid medieval world whose rich, elegant detail only continues to entrance. Newbery Award winner Cynthia Voigt (Dicey's Song) brings her Kingdom series to a superb conclusion with this fourth and final story. At age 12, living as a captive in her Viking-styled Volkaric homeland, Elske has been appointed to die. Her grandmother plots to take her place secretly, so that Elske can escape to the merchant society of Traskad. Once there, she becomes a servant to the imperious young noblewoman Beriel--who insists on being the rightful heir to the throne of The Kingdom. Elske finds that while Beriel is stubborn and headstrong, the exiled young queen matches Elske's own honesty and gutsiness, and they soon become allies in the perilous battle to regain the crown. Like the other three books in the series--Jackaroo, On Fortune's Wheel, and The Wings of a Falcon--this story is linked to the others only loosely and can easily stand alone. But young readers who have once experienced Voigt's beautifully drawn characters, lush settings, and riveting plots will certainly want to seek out the rest of the epic tale. (Ages 12 and older)
Source: Patty Campbell, Amazon.com.