List price: $9.95
Publisher: Brown Barn Books
The debut novel of a young American writer creates a
world of fantasy, where the land is divided into two-- the Northlands and
Ellin, a girl from the Southland, is forced to go with
her physician father to heal the Northland king, even though Southlanders
are despised and feared throughout the cold country. Ellin must find a way
to battle both the people from the North and then her own people, the
Southlanders, to survive in a icy and hostile land.
A great debut novel of a land in sometimes magical
What Reviewers are saying about Northlander
"The author’s careful attention to everyday details
builds a richly believable fantasy world with a medieval flair. A strong
heroine, Ellin matures as the narrative progresses. There is plenty of
action, danger, and page-turning suspense, and issues of prejudice and
persecution are well handled. Science-fiction fans will appreciate the
threat of mind control as a weapon. A satisfying ending with a hint of
future romance will have readers eagerly awaiting the sequel. "
–Quinby Frank, Green Acres School, Rockville, MD,
School Library Journal, February 2008
"Peril and prejudice threaten a young healer-in-training in this
promising fantasy. Although Southlings are treated with open contempt in
the Northlands, a surreptitious plea for their help brings teenaged Ellin,
the narrator, and her learned father over the border to heal the
desperately ill Northlands king. Against their wills, Ellin and the king’s
five grown sons find themselves liking each other, and Ellin discovers
that she can talk with them mind to mind. She also comes to realize that
her unusual gifts extend to psychic healing and to the ability to control
the actions of others. Giving Ellin a lively character and the resilience
to survive physical dangers and devastating personal losses, Burden places
her in a conventional, well ordered setting, supplies a sturdy supporting
cast and—an unusual touch—replaces the customary sorts of villains with
people who resort to violent deeds out of innocence or good intentions.
Although billed as the series opener for Tales of the Borderlands, this
stands alone so well that it’s hard to see what’s coming next.
— John Peters
Booklist January 2008
"Burden displays exceptional skill in simply stated characters and scenes
that leave the reader room for imagination. The book is well-written and
feels like a real, believable story throughout. My husband and I both read
the book, and we both found the scene where the lead character saves a
foal during birthing very touching. It is heartening that she could turn
the heart of more than one young man with this simple, thoughtful deed in
the face of thoughtless racism."
Curled up with a Good Kid's Book
About the Author
Meg Burden has been writing and reading fantasy and science fiction since
sometime around kindergarten. In true science fashion, but in real life,
she graduated from college when she was 18 and shortly afterward,
began writing when she wasn't waitressing, bartending, tending parrots
(really), and teaching as a graduate student at the University of
Nowadays she lives in a small Nebraska town with no
stoplights and more cows than people and works part of the time on a farm.
She breeds and raises Siamese cats when she isn't involved with
online science fiction fandom.
It is only when Father and I are back out on the road, getting wet
again now that it has begun to rain in earnest, that I allow myself to let
my breath out in a whoosh. It's ridiculous, but I feel as if I've been
holding it in since I heard about the Guardians.
"You knew about the Guardians?" I ask after a moment, squinting to
see him in
the light of the small lantern we borrowed from the Alders.
Father doesn't look at me. "Wait 'til we're home," he says shortly,
quickening his pace with an audible squelching of mud.
I sigh. "But--"
"Ellin!" he snaps. "Be still, and obey me without questioning, for
I nod and look at the ground, stung until it occurs to me that it
wasn't anger I heard in his tone, but fear. The idea of my father being
afraid makes me shiver. It takes quite an effort not to look over my
shoulder or jump at shadows and regular nighttime noises.
The walk home seems to take longer than it ever has, and I breathe
another sigh of relief when Father unlocks the door and we step inside. I
don't even have time to enjoy being out of the rain, though, before he
"Yes," he says, sounding tired and holding his coat in his hands as
if he's forgotten where to hang it. "I knew about the Guardians. I had
hoped I wouldn't have to tell you yet."