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Voima by C. Dale Brittain
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Voima (1995)

by C. Dale Brittain

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I first encountered this title when searching for fantasy novels based on Norse mythology. I rather quickly dismissed it, however, because almost no one has read it and those that have don't seem to like it.

But I decided to participate in a reading challenge in which one of the categories is: "Read a book associated with your name." *groan* Though not obscure, Dale is certainly not a common name. In fact, of the 1500 books I have cataloged, not one had an author named Dale. (And I had no idea how to search for books that contained a character named Dale.)

And then I remembered "Voima" and the author's name...Dale. To top it off, she is (like me) a FEMALE Dale (which I encounter very very rarely). So I decided to give this unknown book a chance.

According to the author's website, the setting for Voima is based on medieval Scandinavia and combines elements of Norse sagas and the Finnish Kalevala. The plot involves three characters - the warrior Roric No-man's Son, the king's son Valmar, and the princess Karin who is being held hostage by Valmar's father. The three are recruited by the Wanderers, the immortal rulers of the land, to aid them in battle against those who are attempting to usurp their authority.

In many ways, "Voima" is formula fantasy - the recruitment, the quest, the conflict, the victory. But I was impressed with the complexities of the world of "Voima" and the people that inhabit it, and the way in which the author vividly made this foreign place come alive for me. And even though the characters are in many ways drawn from the fantasy stock list, they are also complex enough to be believable and intriguing. They are faced with many situations in which there is no clear definition of which is the right or wrong choice, and this moral ambiguity added a great deal of depth to the plot.

"Voima" is a fast-paced well-written novel that not only entertained me but also prompted philosophical musings. Though I wouldn't go so far as to place it on a list of Best Fantasy Novels Ever Written, it is certainly worthy of more attention than it has received. ( )
  Her_Royal_Orangeness | Oct 14, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. Dale Brittainprimary authorall editionscalculated
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0671876376, Paperback)

A breakthrough quest fantasy by the author of A Bad Spell in Yurt. Earth and sky are ruled by the immortal Wanderers, the lords of voima--the magical force of life and renewal. But an upheaval is coming, so the Wanderers enlist the help of three young mortals, who will be swept into a tremendous conflict.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:23 -0400)

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