In Thief Eyes, Janni Lee Simner's epic adventure tale inspired by the famous sagas of Iceland, Haley convinces her father to take her to Iceland, the place where her mother disappeared, in order to search for clues as to what became of her. She discovers more than she ever could have expected when she picks up a silver coin containing a spell cast by her ancestor Hallgerd, a sorceress attempting to switch lives with one of her descendants in order to escape an undesired marriage. Unfortunately, the spell affects more than just Haley's family: the volcanic activity of Iceland, which has steadily been increasing, is caused by the vengeful fire spirits who fueled Hallgerd's spell. Now Haley must set off with Ari, the son of her father's friend, to break Hallgerd's spell in order to save herself, her family, and all of Iceland from the powers that would destroy all of them.
I am not familiar with the sagas of Iceland, but I am excited to read them now that I have finished Thief Eyes. The story was like none I have read before, and I became enchanted with the beautiful landscape of Iceland, the references to the sagas, and the ties between Haley's family, past and present, that made the story so thrilling. Iceland's magic is certainly very different from any in the other books I have read, and the mythology of Hallgerd's spell and Ari's mysterious warrior ancestors kept me turning page after page: I read the first third or so of the book in just a few hours at school one day. Simner's vivid imagery and the sense of danger and urgency she weaves into the story through the plot and dialog made Thief Eyes a very enjoyable read. I also adore the cover; the light colors and the metallic coin very accurately reflect the contents of the book and remind me of the scenery of Iceland described within its pages. Haley was easy to relate to; I found myself thinking that I would reason things out the way she did if I was put in a similar situation, not just with the mythological aspects but also with the real-world problems she faces. Thief Eyes is a fairly quick read, but a unique and enjoyable one that I would recommend mainly to younger teens, but also to older readers interested in a more unfamiliar mythological tale.
- Publisher: Random House
- Publication Date: April 27, 2010
- Genre: Teen Fiction
- Date of review: 05/23/2010