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By the Mountain Bound by Elizabeth Bear
Cover Artist: Jean-Sabastien Rossbach
Review by Sam Lubell
Tor Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765318831
Date: 27 October 2009 List Price $25.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /

Elizabeth Bear's By the Mountain Bound is the prequel to All the Windwracked Stars which combined far future science fiction with Norse mythology infused fantasy to good effect. But By the Mountain Bound is a much more conventional fantasy novel with no science fictional elements. It simply builds on the backstory already revealed in the previous novel. Still fans of the first book will certainly want to learn more about the waelcyrge (valkyrie) Muire, the Historian; Mingan, the Grey Wolf; and Strifbjorn,the warrior-leader of the Children of the Light, warrior-angels in a land that exists after the Norse myths have ended. The Children of the Light have the job of avenging the fallen.

From official release/information:

Product Description: For five hundred years the immortal Children of the Light, einherjar and valkyrie,†have lived together in the North of Valdyrgard. They were born out of the Sea, each with a shining crystal sword in his or her hand; they are Angels of Light created in the formation of a new world.† But three have come before them, from the death-throes of the old world, Midgard:†the world-girdling Serpent, Bearer of Burdens;† the Wolf Fenris, eater of the Sun, who now takes the form of an einherjar; and his demon sister, stealer of souls.

The Children spend their days feasting, fighting, hunting, and guarding their human charges. But one dreadful day a woman is washed up from the sea, a Lady who is no mortal, though she is not valkyrie either.†Thus begins the breaking of the Children of the Light, the tarnishing of their power, and the death of Valdyrgard.

By the Mountain Bound is a prequel to Elizabeth Bear's highly acclaimed All the Windwracked Stars, and tells the painful tale of love and betrayal, sorcery and battle, that led up to the day when Muire was left alone in the snow at the end of the world.

(Source: Tor Books)

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