Plenty of Tension, Lots of Love
The nice thing about this sequel to Sons of Blackbird Mountain is that in the first book we met all the principle characters, and we already love them or hate them. (The series would be best read in sequence.) Now Joanne Bischof deepens the story. Four years on, Daughters of Northern Shores takes off with the tension high as Thor, beloved husband of Aven, gets deathly sick. Haakon takes to the sea to try and escape himself. And Peter Sorrel of the evil Sorrel clan takes up with the Norgaards. We worry for all of them.
But I think the best thing about this series is the way Bischof gives voice to Deaf and Mute Thor. In the first book, Bischof explains that writing the character of Thor is a tribute to her experience with a Deaf and Mute young man at a church camp. (I think I have that right.) I felt I knew Thor the best of any of the characters, including Aven. The depth Bischof gives the man is really extraordinary.
I won’t spoil the big scene near the end, but I will say that it’s not what one commonly finds in historical romance—and it’s good! I was riveted and stayed up too late, my mark of a good book.