A young woman in tenth century Iceland, Thora Thorvinnsdottir, finds herself orphaned, out of a home and destitute. She decides to make the most of what she has left, assets she can count on her fingers and toes — a small flock of sheep, a first rate horse and priceless dog, a young slave of many skills. Thora is proud to be who she is, a well-born woman free to make her own decisions within the overall pattern designed by the Norns – the whimsical maidens of fate whose weavings shape the lives of mortals. Where others may dwell on the dictates imposed on their lives by circumstance and fate, Thora seeks for the spaces between the warp threads strung by the immortal maiden weavers. She is determined to see that the weft strands of her life’s fabric represent a pattern of her own choice.
Set on a road of self-determination unusual for her times and place in a gender- biased world, Thora joins a party of settlers on their journey to Greenland in the hope of acquiring a farm of her own. In Greenland, she marries Ivar Ulfson, which turns out to be a mistake. Next in her search for her proper place in the world, she joins her husband’s timber-seeking expedition across the western sea to a rumoured new land, suspected to be the source of the masses of driftwood found on some Greenland beaches.
The newly discovered land holds more than vast forests of prime timber. There are novel forms of life here, animal and human, unknown to even the most widely traveled among Norsemen. And Thora is given a chance to achieve a major goal she set for herself, in a way she never imagined.
for a little background on viking age Iceland, click on this site’s blog page, or on Story Page (and scroll down) to read about people and their horses in old Iceland sagas
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