I recently reread these two books by Rebecca Barnhouse. They’re billed as Young Adult, but I thought them an enjoyable read for adults as well. What initially attracted me to them is the fact that they’re loosely based on the Anglo-saxon Beowulf saga, though they don’t deal with those events directly.
The first book (Coming of the Dragon) takes place many years after the slaying of Grendel, when Beowulf is an aged king. It’s the story of Rune, a young man with a mysterious past, who has to discover his origins. Then of course a dragon comes into it, but I don’t want to give away the whole plot…
Peaceweaver is a companion piece, which I actually thought even better. The protagonist, Hild, is sent away to the Kingdom of the Geats as a peaceweaver when her family discovers she has the sight – a gift they’re not comfortable with. She’s a really interesting character with believable faults and insecurities and some startling talents!
Rebecca Barnhouse obviously has a thorough knowledge of early medieval times, but she also adds a dollop of magic and mystery to make things more interesting. I would dearly love to read the next novel in the series, but apparently the third book ‘Ring Giver’ was dropped by the publisher and she is now looking for a new one. Fingers crossed she finds one soon!