Said to draw heavily from native mythology, Fargoer is a work of fiction unlike most I’ve read. Set during a time when Vikings seizure was a harsh reality, this story follows Vierra (a Kainu tribe member) as she comes of age under the shadow of disappointing destiny. This future, prophesized during the womanhood ceremony she shares with her cousin, sets the stage for us to experience with Vierra many hardships and trials. However, many stories have these elements, and coming of age stories are not new. Several points differentiate this from the others. Fist, the weavings of fantasy and magic throughout the tale give Fargoer a more colorful backdrop. Also, the beautiful descriptions of native untouched Finland and the ways of life for these people bring the reader a deeper understanding of the Kainu people. Finally, the poetry and song utilized throughout the tale lend the storytelling a more authentic feel. As the story develops we are reminded of the destiny for told and subtly led to question if destiny controls us or is created by us.
The writing is well done, with very few and minimal textual errors. The ones that are present are not glaring and may well be a result of translation. The characters have depth and the style and presentation of the story are engaging. One thing I was left wanting was a better visual of Vierra. The book describes her well, but an artistic rendering on the cover would be a welcome addition. By the end of the story Vierra had worked her way into my consciousness and I look forward to seeing what the rest of her story will bring. I would recommend this to those interested in Viking folklore, matriarchal societies, and those who enjoy stories of personal growth/transformation. Full disclosure: I have been provided a copy of the book for the purpose of providing a review; however the opinions presented are my own and not influenced or dictated by publisher or author. Also note, I have not researched the native traditions and myths referenced in this book and do not speak to either their validity or how closely the story may or may not follow suit.
Reviewed by: Brandy Strake
Layered Pages Review Team Leader