*** ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ***
A book is either meant for you or not. After diving into Snorri Kristjansson’s Kin, it became apparent that Kristjansson’s must have written Kin for me … obviously! 😊
It had everything I look for in a book. Flawed characters, dysfunctional family dynamics, a delightful mysterious story, a few twists and it was narrated in a language that resonated with me. I normally binge on books, but I slowed this one down as I did not want it to end.
Kin is set around 970 in Norway. Expect no epic Viking battles or raids. The story is centred around Viking warlord Unnthor Reginsson after he retires from the longboats and settles down with Hildigunnur in a remote valley. It’s a tale about their five children. Helga, their adopted daughter, her three brothers Karl, Bjorn and Aslak and her sister Jorunn. It is mainly narrated from Helga’s perspective but sometimes the narrative switches to her other siblings, their spouses and children.
The flow of the story is gentle at first. We are introduced to Unnthor’s family via their large gathering. We see how dysfunctional they are as a unit, get to know the characters and catch a glimpse of how hard life must have been around that time.
And then somebody gets murdered. From that moment onward, the pace picks up and the fun begins. Pretty much everybody has a potential to be the killer. And I had so much fun guessing who it could be!
Helga is strong main character that guides us throughout the story:
“If no one will fight for his life . . . Her jaw tensed. I’m going to have to do it myself.”
Hildigunnur raised her to be observant and crafty. And she truly lives up to her mother’s expectations. Her thoughts give us useful insights until the mystery is finally resolved.
Kin ends in a way that you want its sequel immediately. I NEED Kin’s sequel NOW!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries / crime stories with a sprinkle of Norse mythology and who enjoys reading stories full of flawed characters.