"You know the adventure books you read as a kid; the ones that completely took you away to another land and for a few brief moments reality fused into a magical world of make believe. That is what Pattou has written. “West”, is the stunning sequel to her first masterpiece, “East”." - Brooke, Goodreads
Release Date: October 23rd, 2018
In the sequel to the beloved high fantasy East, Rose sets off on a perilous journey to find her true love when he goes missing in a thrilling tale of danger, magic, adventure, and revenge.
When Rose first met Charles, he was trapped in the form of a white bear. To rescue him, Rose traveled to the land that lay east of the sun and west of the moon to defeat the evil Troll Queen. Now Rose has found her happily-ever-after with Charles—until a sudden storm destroys his ship and he is presumed dead. But Rose doesn’t believe the shipwreck was an act of nature, nor does she believe Charles is truly dead. Something much more sinister is at work. With mysterious and unstoppable forces threatening the lives of the people she loves, Rose must once again set off on a perilous journey. And this time, the fate of the entire world is at stake.
"West is a delightful fantasy novel, gorgeously pieced together with adventure and folklore it is sure to please fans of East and new readers alike. [...] Magic, quests, challenges and games, ancient folklore and legends, the gorgeous and historic scenery of the northern Scandinavia, the wonderfully detailed characters and Edith Pattou’s unique and beautiful writing style, all work together to make West a pleasure to read. " Madison, Goodreads
“’Tis a north wind,” came a voice beside me.
“Is it?” I said.
“Yes,” said Sib, “with a bit of west mixed in.”
I turned to smile at Sib, who had come to stand beside me at the ship’s railing. Sib was one of the so‐called “softskin” servants who had escaped Niflheim after the destruction of the Troll Queen’s ice palace. Three years had passed since she came to live with Charles and me in Fransk.
We had become fast friends, and in many ways, I was closer to her than to any of my siblings, except my brother Neddy, of course. Her true name was Sibhoirdeas, but she said that most who had known her called her Sib.
“That’s Neddy’s direction,” I said with a smile. “Northwest.”
Sib returned my smile, for she knew all about the unusual birth direction superstition of my mother’s family that had been so much a part of my growing up in Njord, that the direction a woman faced when giving birth shaped the personality of the child. My mother never wanted a north‐facing bairn, who would be wild and headstrong with a love for adventuring, but that’s exactly what I had been. Mother, however, had refused to accept this and was determined that I should be an east‐born child. I didn’t learn of my true north nature until I was older.
But you look happy, Rose.”
I nodded. It was our sixth day on the ship called Guillemot, which was taking us to Trondheim. It was my first visit home since Winn’s birth and only the second since Charles and I had been married.
“I will be seeing my family soon,” I said. “And Winn will meet his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.”
I smiled down on the sleeping face of my bairn, who was swaddled in a sling over my shoulders. It still made me catch my breath, looking at those almost translucent eyelids lined with golden lashes.
I gazed out over the expanse of Njordsjoen again. It was choppy, a deep blue almost to blackness, but this too made me catch my breath. The open sea. How I had missed it, the salty wind in my face, the call of the gulls.
These past three years had been happy ones for my white bear and me, carving out a life for ourselves in Fransk. Yet there were moments now and then when that old restlessness would overtake me, and I would be driven to strap on my boots and go wandering through the countryside.
Charles understood. “If it wasn’t for your wild nature, I would still be a white bear. Or worse,” he once said to me, when I had finished apologizing for being gone overlong.
Even after the birth of Winn, my white bear accepted my wanderlust. He would just brush my forehead with his lips and say, “Off with you.”
I loved our bairn with all my heart, knew from the moment I kissed that wrinkled, damp face for the first time that I would have given my life for him. But at the same time, it was perhaps the hardest test I had ever faced, balancing my wild, northern nature with that love. Because that is the truth of a bairn, that they need you, body and soul, and I was tethered to him in a way I had never known.
Charles felt the same way, but for him being tethered was exactly what he wanted. Having roots, a home he could call his own, after almost one hundred and fifty years of roaming the world as a white bear, was all the happiness he desired.
It was odd, I suppose, that I still sometimes called him White Bear, but I did. Charles didn’t come easily to my tongue. It was as if that person taken from his life by the Troll Queen so long ago was something of a stranger to me, and in some deep down way, I would always think of him as a white bear.
I would occasionally slip. The first time I actually called him White Bear after we were wed, he flinched. But then he smiled.
“So be it,” he said, pulling me to him. “After all, it was as a white bear that I first loved you.”
“And I you,” I whispered into his shoulder.
I’m embarrassed to say, however, that most often I called him such things as “my love” and “dear.” Hardly words I would ever have imagined myself saying back when I was young and wild, climbing trees and falling into ponds.
About the author:
Edith Pattou is the author of Ghosting, a contemporary novel for young adults, told in free verse. She also wrote three award-winning fantasy novels for young adults – East, a retelling of the Norwegian folk tale "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," and the two Songs of Eirren, Hero’s Song and Fire Arrow. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling picture book, Mrs. Spitzer’s Garden.
She was born in Evanston, Illinois, grew up in Winnetka, and was a teenager in the city of Chicago where she attended Francis W. Parker School. She completed her B.A. at Scripps College in Claremont, California where she won the Crombie Allen Award for creative writing. She later completed a Masters degree in English Literature at Claremont Graduate School, followed by a Masters of Library and Information Science at UCLA.
She has worked for a medical association, a clothing boutique, a recording studio, the Playboy Foundation, a public television station, a school library, two public libraries, two advertising agencies, and two bookstores.
She has lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, Durham, NC, Cambridge, England, Stockholm, Sweden, and currently resides with her husband, Charles, in Columbus, Ohio.
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