In The Soul Thief, and its spellbinding sequel, The Witches' Kitchen, celebrated historical novelist Cecilia Holland began an enthralling new tale of adventure, conflict, and passion set against the turbulent backdrop of the Viking invasions of Ireland in the ninth century. When Norse raiders slaughtered his family and abducted his sister, Corban Loosestrife set out on an odyssey that took him across half the world, from the Viking fortress of Jorvik to the wild and desolate shores of Vinland in the New World. |
Now, with The Serpent Dreamer, Holland continues this powerful epic, as Corban struggles to make a new life alone in this strange land amid bloody clashes between warring native clans.
His service to the King of the Danes concluded, Corban returned to his new home in Vinland to find the colony destroyed, his beloved wife dead, and his twin sister Mav, with whom he shared a mystic bond, transfigured into a numinous being caught between this world and the next. Seeking shelter with a nearby tribe, Corban was shunned for his pale skin and dark, coarse hair, and feared for his strange powers to make fire and cut through the toughest skins with his magic blade.
Epashti, the tribe's healer, came to love Corban, and in time bear him children. But Miska, the proud and cunning chief of the Wolf clan, despised Corban - in part because of his strangeness, but more because of Corban's bond with his twin sister, who Miska loves. Mav gave Miska a daughter, but spurned him ever after.
Now, Mav's young daughter Ahanton has begun to show some of her mother's strange gifts. When her dream of a mighty army that worships a serpent convinces Miska that his old enemies, the Sun People, are approaching, he sets out to the east to unite the warring tribes into a force that may stand up to the invading army.
But another vision compels Corban to travel west, toward the home of the Sun People, taking Espashti and young Anhaton with him. Hailed as an incarnation of Ixewe, the White Buffalo god, and kept as a curiosity by Itza Balam, the Lord of the Serpent Wand,. ruler of the great city of Cibal, Corban will play a pivotal role in a great destiny that will forever alter the world he has come to know.