Arlene and I received "A Sea-Queen's Sailing" to review from Salem Ridge Press. Salem Ridge press's goal is to republish quality wholesome books for your family to enjoy. "A Sea-Queen's Sailing" (SQS) is one of their many Historical Fiction titles.
Salem Ridge's website has a brief synopsis of each book, which lets you know the time period the story covers, and a brief introduction to the beginning of the plotline. SQS covers Scotland, Ireland, and Norway in 935 A.D. If you know any history about these countries, you will surmise that the story includes battles, vikings, sailing, and treasure...you would be correct!
If finding quality books for your family is important, without the modern twist of the characters always having all the latest techno gadgets, you will appreciate Salem Ridge Press. They have several other quality titles, which other Crew families reviewed. You can find the link to those reviews at the bottom of this post. I appreciate several things about this book from Salem Ridge: These are lengthy books (SQS is 310 pages) so you can settle in to enjoy them, or chose a chapter a day for a family read-aloud time. The charcters are learning and being tested throughout the story, having to rely upon the honor and upbringing they were given by their parents. Chivalry may be dead in 2013, but you can bring it back to life in your own family by discussing the choices the characters are faced with, and their outcomes. I like that the characters in SQS are thinking about something, and someone, other than themselves. They know their families have traditions of honor and loyalty that they should be upholding, something that seems lacking in most modern literature.
The story of "A Sea-Queen's Sailing" involves the young queen Gerda, a Scottish Jarl, an Irish prince, and an English thane, and their adventures being pursued by a Viking (pirate.) Arlene and I both appreciated the footnotes that are included the first time an unusual or archaic term is used.
This helped us stay focused on the story, without having to dig out the dictionary. I liked the way the story is woven together, and how insights of the different charcters are drawn out at appropriate times. I really don't want to give the story away...so I'm not going to tell you anymore right now.
Arlene read the book first, then I got a chance to read it. She had given me the plot outline when she still had 50 pages left, so she wouldn't spoil the ending for me! Since then, we have begun discussing the characters and the choices they had to make, both for their own safety and welfare, and for the good of their friends and remaining family. It is often easier to discuss those lessons from the characters in a book than in a face-to-face conversation. I'm looking forward to more talks about making quality choices with Arlene.
I liked the book, but I think it really is geared for ages 14 and up, as the reading is of a higher level vocabulary than most 12 year olds would be comfortable doing themselves. It has adventure, and a little bit of romance. It would be good as a read-aloud for the older members of your family, but probably wouldn't make sense to little kids. The back of the book has previews of some of their (Salem Ridge Press) other books.
Overall, we both enjoyed the book, and are looking forward to purchasing another title to read in the near future. SQS, originally published in 1906, retails today for $14.95. Money well spent.