Oh, I absolutely loved this story. Ingebjorg is the daughter of the king of the Northlands, taking after her boisterous, raw-boned father rather than her cultivated, educated mother. Her character comes through in the very first lines of the story and it is engaging and distinctive. Dalton paints her relationship to her parents, and her parents relationship with each other, with great deftness; every word rings true, every one is sympathetic. It’s hard not to feel for Fridesweide, who has to grow old and grey and fretful that she will lose everything her husband has loved in her; it’s not hard to understand how Ingebjorg can love her mother but get along better with her the further they are apart; it’s extremely easy to feel the same revulsion for Klovass the alchemy professor that Ingebjorg feels. And when a Delphic oracle is cast upon Ingebjorg’s life, I could not wait to see how it would resolve itself. I just really enjoyed reading this.
(First published in Lorelei Signal 2011.)