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The Fetch: The Runestone Saga #1 by Chris Humphreys
Review by Gayle Surrette
Knopf Books for Young Readers Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0375832920
Date: 11 July, 2006 List Price $15.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

All his life Sky has sleepwalked and had nightmares. His family moves a lot due to his father job so it's attributed to the unsettled lifestyle they lead. But once a trunk shows up that used to belong to his grandfather, Sigurd Solness, who died years ago, the nightmares take on a vividness they'd previously lacked. After Sky finds a hidden compartment in the trunk with a set of rune stones and a journal -- Sky and his cousin Kristin are set on an adventure that will change their lives forever.

Sky and Kristen are 15 going on 16 but by the end of the book, you'd swear they were 15 going on 60. The decisions and experiences they have would be tough on an adult, or at least a lot of the adults I know, let alone a teenager. Yet, they're at that age when they are almost adults but are treated as children. They feel they can't share what's happening because they'd be pooh-poohed and belittled -- so they go it alone. As an adult reading this book, I found the reactions of these young people believable and consistent with what I remember feeling at that age (not that I ever had to deal with the life and death decision that Sky and Kristen deal with).

A couple of years ago, I got interested in runes and started studying their meanings and the sociological and mythological underpinnings of their use in the various cultures. I found that each of the runes mentioned in the book matches closely the references that I had and so after looking up the first few I felt confident that the author was indeed versed in the runes. He's taken some interesting interpretations but nevertheless consistent with the use in a rune cast. I learned a lot about runes and history as well as getting to enjoy a good story well told.

Recommended. And I'm looking forward to the continuation of the saga.

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