As you all know by now, I love reading. So when I was contacted to review The Book of Bera, a new YA title from debut author Suzie Wilde of course I readily agreed.
The Book of Bera – A Review
The Book of Bera – Blurb from the Back Cover
The Book of Bera is a Viking adventure fantasy novel which follows the saga of Bera, a young Viking woman who is struggling to control her invisible spirit twin and develop her inherited gift of sight.
On a long winter night, Bera is left to defend her stark village alone and in the ensuing battle, her dear childhood friend Bjorn is killed. When soon after her father weds her to the chieftain of a rival clan, Bera realises the unthinkable; his second in command is responsible for her friend’s death. Though she must now learn how to be a wife and a step mother to a hostile boy, Bera vows her revenge and sets off on a path to grow in power and hone her skills in the rough, macho clan into which she has been sold.
As her gifts continue to grow, her visions of looming disaster become more and more ominous until she has to make the ultimate choice; will she choose revenge? Or will she succeed in leading her people to safety before it’s too late?
The Book of Bera is a work of great character, imagination and considerable drive that will take you on an epic journey of duty, vengeance and salvation.
The Book of Bera: My Thoughts on the Book
The Book of Bera wasn’t what I was expecting at all – because it’s a Viking book, I was expecting a lot of brutality, fighting and pillaging. Although this is mentioned in passing, it is far from the central theme of the book.
The book is more of a coming of age story of a teenage girl who finds herself forced to grow up very quickly. It follows Bera through her time as a new wife and mother, and shows the hardships she faces adjusting to her new role. Bera is very much an independent woman, who’s mother was respected in her community, and now Bera expects the same.
When she finds herself in a community that views woman as a mere commodity, she struggles to make herself heard. The book follows as Bera gradually starts to earn the respect of the villagers.
Bera is a character who is quite relatable as she struggles against her time’s version of the patriarchy and tries to find her place in a male dominated world. Affected hugely by grief and loss, Bera struggles between her vow to avenge her friend and her vow to keep her new community safe.
There is also a lot of mention of the relationship between Bera and her new stepson, Heggi. This is a really interesting dynamic and it’s great to watch this relationship change and grow as the story progresses.
I don’t think the write up on the back cover does this book justice – the story is much more of an emotional journey than what is conjured up by the description. It gives a good insight into the lives of the villagers and the hardships they face.
The Book of Bera: Conclusion and Rating
I thoroughly enjoyed The Book of Bera. I quickly got drawn into the story and wanted to know how it all turned out. there where times I cringed along with Bera and times I wanted to punch the air in joy at her triumphs.
Overall, this is a pretty good debut novel. 4/5
The Book of Bera is available now.
Do you think you would enjoy The Book of Bera? Let me know in the comments 🙂
Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of The Book of Bera in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own, and as an avid reader, I would never recommend a book I didn’t truly enjoy.