Two troubled young adults find themselves key players in a deadly game that spans the 21st century and the Viking Age.
Amy, finding it difficult to ‘fit in’, becomes increasingly obsessed with the virtual reality game Erinland. The VR characters and the mist of Erin begin to invade Amy’s dreams and her waking moments. She finds herself drawn into Erinland in 9th century Ireland. Amy becomes part of this mystical world as she joins in the struggle to defeat the Viking raiders.
Richard has a complicated home life and feels he doesn’t belong anywhere. A series of events finds him desperate and living on the streets, where he finds himself dragged into 9th century Norway by a
Viking warrior. Richard finds acceptance with the Vikings and joins them on a colonisation raid to Ireland.
Music in video trailer courtesy of Sam McMahon @sammcmahonmusic
With Erinland, Kathryn Berryman has crafted an exciting and compelling yarn, that to the mind’s eye rivals the intricate pages lovingly created by the scribes of the monastic Ireland that provides the backdrop to this story.
Amy and Richard, two people who may have never crossed paths in their own time, find themselves living history at its most brutal, on opposing sides in the great upheaval that was the Viking invasion of Ireland.
Kath’s attention to historical detail and her ability to capture the alienation that Amy and Richard feel - both in their own time and when they 'cross over' - makes this a ‘4.5 out of 5’ book for me.
Kathryn Berryman’s Erinland is a fresh take on a historical fiction book and will appeal to anyone who loves the fantasy genre.
Kathryn has given new life to the people and scenery of the Viking Age, utilising intricate, historically-based details to create a vivid world for her characters. She has effortlessly weaved Irish mythology and Norse gods into her modern-day plotline, bringing magic and fantasy to the story. We experience this ancient world through the eyes of two modern-day teenagers, Amy and Richard, as they choose a side, train as warriors, learn the Viking ways, and battle to protect their new home – Erinland!
But who will be victorious in the end? And who will be defeated and sucked into the boglands? You will need to read Erinland to find out!
Kathryn Berryman seamlessly combines the ancient folklore of the Druids and the Vikings with contemporary culture in her fascinating tale of Erinland. She has also cleverly entwined into the story the issue of youth homelessness and the sense of isolation often felt by many teenagers.
The major protagonists, Amy and Richard, are teens who struggle to find their way in modern society. The ancient virtual world of Erinland gives them an opportunity to build on their self esteem and courage, as well as a chance to find a sense of belonging.
Kathryn's capacity for storytelling fires the imagination and brings Erinland to life by combining the forces of magic and savagery prevalent in that era. It is a novel you just can't put down. Like Amy and Richard, it draws the reader into its intricate plot line and I found it engrossing from start to finish.
Kathryn Berryman’s debut novel Erinland takes the reader on a journey in time and place. The story, targeted at the young adult audience, transports us back to the Viking Era in Ireland.
Beginning in the modern world, a computer game becomes the literary device that takes one of the main characters, Amy, back in time to Ireland. As the story begins we are introduced to Erinland as a place on a screen, but the main character soon finds out it is more than that, it is real.
The sense of place is evoked powerfully, with well researched detail about life in Ireland at the time of the Vikings. Amy finds herself startled by the clothes and food of the time, not to mention the bathing and toilet facilities. Richard, a troubled young man with a violent upbringing, learns how to use ancient weapons when he is transported back in time and ends up on the side of the Vikings, opposing Amy, who has sided with the Irish.
As in a computer game, the plot paces steadily, building to an inevitable confrontation which has been foretold since the beginning of the story. Computer games are constructed in simple terms, battles of good and evil, but this story is more complex than that. As the tension builds and the characters develop, the reader is drawn into the complexities of life at that time through the experiences of each of the main characters.
Erinland is a fulfilling read that will transport you to another time and place and provoke thought about the themes of self discovery, being an outsider and the universal struggle of good and evil. I recommend it.
STEVE AHERN, OAM
(author, editor, broadcaster)
From the very first page, the reader is transported to a different world and the author has a gift of vivid imagination that comes across the writing in an exceptional way.
The lush depiction of the Irish landscape, and the detailed accounts of the powerful mythological beliefs that dominated the lives of the Irish and the Vikings, thread their own mysterious web of compassion, fear and riveting suspense.
EMILY-JANE HILLS ORFORD
Kathryn Berryman’s easy-to-read suspenseful writing style leaves the reader breathless at every turn, and she even includes a user-friendly glossary of character and place names and key terms from ancient Celtic, Norse, and Druidic cultures with correct pronunciation.