Eleanor, a literature graduate with a passion for the old legends, is lost and feared dead when she becomes separated from her group on an expedition in the Icelandic Highlands, but emerges out of the wilds nine days later with stories of the huldufolk.
Ódinn, who has committed crimes in his own world and has been cast out to walk the world of men for all eternity, desires to return home. He enlists the help of Charles Ancell, a young, ambitious, aluminum developer to build a revolutionary new factory in the Icelandic Highlands to provide cheap metal. The techniques used will break apart the fragile bridge between the worlds. As a consequence of this our world and its climate is set to change irrecoverably.
Eleanor’s brother, Ben, a student concerned with the effects of climate change in the north Atlantic has uncovered some alarming predictions. Reunited with his sister, he joins her quest to stop the construction of the factory but because of the effects it will have on the world’s climate rather than to believe her assertions that huldufolk have asked her to save their world.
“If I only had one word to sum up this book, it would simply be ‘wow’. I became intrigued by this book after reading the synopsis and reviews, and thought I had a pretty good idea of what it would be like. I was wrong. This book is so much more than you can imagine before reading it, and I would highly recommend this book to many others (and indeed, I already have done).
We start with Eleanor who is in Iceland with a group of friends on a climbing holiday. Interspersed with this, we are given an insight into the life of Ben, creating two parallel stories within the book. Very quickly, things take a turn for the worse. At this point, I was working on the assumption that I had the rest of the book figured out, but then we are subjected to many twists and turns, which makes this one book that is impossible to put down.
The End Of All Worlds is something everyone could sink their teeth into- the science of global warming and weather patterns combine so well with with the fantasy and Icelandic folk lore, giving us the world of the Huldufolk and Alfar and the struggle they face to survive.
The story flits a lot between the present and the past, both in the form of flashbacks and visions of the various characters. In some books, I have found this can be both distracting from the main story, and can end up confusing the story line and the reader. However, this is NOT the case with this. Everything ties up nicely, while keeping just enough back to ensure you continue reading. It also means that you have to pay attention while reading, thus giving you the perfect opportunity to fully appreciate the book.
Be warned- if you are looking for a light book to read in a spare lunch break, this is not the one for you. This is a book you curl up with on a comfy chair and immerse yourself fully into. I, for one, thank Shepherd for writing The End Of All Worlds, and will be returning to this book time and time again.
“It tells of the Huldufolk in the Icelandic Mountains trying to save their home as well as protect it from evil. Now, I’ve never been to Iceland, but I imagine if I were to venture there now i’d be kinda spooked or maybe too curious for my own good. Reading this book has only heightened my love for all things legends and folklore”
“the story itself is very addictive … I cant put the book down and I have enjoyed every bit I have read. It’s been a very long time since a book got me hooked so fast”
“Not my usual thing, I wasn’t sure this book was going to hold my interest for the duration. I needn’t have worried! Combining modern science and ancient folklore, this book takes you on a journey from the dangers of Iceland’s natural elements to the supernatural world of the huldufolk and their fight to preserve their ancient home and protect them, and us, from evil … seemingly, a tale of one woman’s survival against the unforgiving Icelandic weather and her family’s struggle to come to terms with the fact she may be lost forever. It soon developed into something much more complex and unusual and I got immersed in the characters’ journeys through time and the race to save our world”
“I’m not a reader of fantasy fiction, but what makes this story different is the overarching theme of climate change, the effect people have on their environments, and most of all the setting of Iceland. It’s an atmospheric, original story, well-told by an author who has a gift for writing fantasy fiction with a wider appeal”
“The folklore and history in Iceland is fascinating and I can’t wait to visit there to find out more. I will be expecting to see huldufolk hiding in the rocks of course”
The End Of All Worlds
Shepherd, T E (with 38 illustrations by the author)
Publication date: May 2012
ISBN 978 0 9571756 1 7 (Ebook MOBI-format, £2.99)
ISBN 978 0 9571756 3 1 (Paperback, £10.99)
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