Fargoer was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Full review on my blog: http://diamondlovestoread.blogspot.com
This book is reads as a series of short stories; with each chapter consisting of a different theme.
It was mostly a short story format, yet some seemed more like chapters—while others took huge leaps and bounds and were definitive short stories.
Fargoer has some really strong redeeming qualities. I love Vierra (the main character). I really do. She's strong, resiliant, and unique. She has strengths, weaknesses, quirks, etc. I found her very real. I think anyone who can create a character like Vierra has a lot to be proud of. I know writing strong characters can be really hard. And this was a big one for me. She kept me reading. I genuinely wanted to know what was going to happen to her. For a character that was part of an ancient tribe (of female leaders) at the time of the Vikings...I am surprised I didn't feel more a disconnect (how can I relate?). The fact that I didn't feel a disconnect with the characters is pretty cool. Another good thing was the historical aspect. As a lover of historical fiction, I appreciate when novels are written factually without seeming to read like an encyclopedia. It felt real. It felt true. These are very important qualities in a novel. I also loved how each "chapter" had unique artwork at the beginning (it foreshadowed the tone of the chapter). That was really cool. I've always been interested in female tribes that were dominated by females and the males filled the role that women do in our society. I really loved how Vierra got to "choose" her husband, and the way that their tribe (and others that the story covered) came into contact with. It was really impowering. It was also wonderful to see the Vikings in a different light--from the tribes of the land they invaded. I can't think of any other novels I have read with this subject matter.
Most of the time I was having a hard time getting into it because I'm not too fond of the native/aboriginal hunter/gatherer type stories where it's like 'she caught the fish with one quick thrust of her spear' --or some narrative like this. It's a matter of taste, I guess. If you like learning about ancient cultures in an extremely descriptive way that could pass for nonfiction-- then you may find it more interesting.
The other thing I have to point out is pacing. The pacing needs work. There were times where I simply couldn't put it down..I wanted to know what happened to our Vierra! Then...(more often) I was so bored and had to force myself to go back to the story. I thought to myself, why wasn't this spread out a little better? If it was, I would stay interested for longer. Towards the end, a lot of events occur. This could have been maybe introduced earlier so the middle sections weren't so dry.