North Child by Edith Pattou


North ChildTitle: North Child
Author: Edith Pattou
Series: East #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Fairy talesRomance
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Usborne
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: Nils Erland set out for Danemark, where he hoped to make his way, and Selme Eva married an ironworker and moved with him to a village in Njord far distant from us.

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Superstition says that children born facing north will travel far from home, and Rose’s mother is terrified that Rose, a north child, will face a lonely, icy death if she follows her destiny. But Rose is unaware of this, so when an enormous white bear appears and wants to take her away she agrees to his bargain.

Rose travels on the bear’s back to a mysterious castle where a silent stranger appears to her night after night. Overwhelmed by curiosity, Rose does something that has terrible consequences. Now she must embark on an epic journey to save the one she loves and fulfil her true destiny.

As familiar and moving as Beauty and the Beast, yet infused with freshness and originality, North Child is at once lyrical, exciting and memorable, a sweeping story of grand proportions.


I loved this book the first time I read it. And then, I was so mixed in my emotions this second time. But, once I get sucked into Pattou’s amazing world, I was hooked. Again. And completely drowned myself in the words that she continuously spread across the page.

Although when I first read this story, I thought it was based on Beauty and the Beast, but I have since discovered that this story is based on a Norwegian folk tale. And somehow this just makes it so much better. The intricacies of the tale and storyline and the stark difference to a fairy tale that I know well make a lot more sense when understood through a Norwegian lens. Or at least, it is a lot more enthralling and leads me to a greater fascination for a culture I’ve had little exposure to.

I often get kind of frustrated with stories that flick between points of view. Normally I get really attached to just one of the characters and then all I want is to know more about his / her point of view. Somehow it works for this tale though. Flicking between Neddy, Rose, Father, White Bear and the Troll Queen shows the many finely woven aspects of this tale. And although you are sometimes swept away from a character that you love, you’re quickly swept into an entirely new tale that wraps you up in its spell.

Anyone that wants a sweet romance with a strong female, this is the story you should pick up. It brings to life a number of gorgeous, glacial settings that Rose must battle through to save what she loves most. But the overtones of folklore make this even sweeter and somehow more innocent.

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