Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
Having read 'The Lady in the Tower' and 'Daughter of Fire and Ice' i really wanted to read this, and i wasn't disapointed! One of the things that appeals to me about Marie's books are that you can read them in any order, there's no undue pressure to enjoy them all as part of a series, and because of this i found it easier to sink into the narrative and know that there's a beginning and an end, with no long waits for a sequel :-)
The general premise of the story was fascinating and heartbreaking. Marianne, whose Mother dies, bids her with her final breath to seek a better life in Skagen, Denmark, where her Father lives. Wanting to carry out her Mother's final wish and to find the only member of her family remaining, Marianne sets out to Denmark, not just in search of her Father but of a new life.
I found Marianne quickly became one of my favourite literary characters of all time, she was brave, stubborn, strong and made a feisty protagonist. I was just impressed with the sheer amount of crap she endures and yet doesn't give in. She has a few weak moments and panics a bit, but then what do you expect from someone who finds themself in a strange country with no friends? Other standout characters for me were Mikkel, who i found wonderful as the strangely different guy of Skagen who dislikes fishing.
Peter, the romantic interest of the novel, was fun to read about, although his attitude to marianne at some points did annoy me (bear in mind though it is the 19th century!) but he does make up for it later.
Christensen was the ultimate sort of bad guy of the book, although by the end i did soften towards him, especially once you hear his story.
I thought the pace moved just nicely, as a historical/romance/adventure should, and it still contained enough twists that left me thinking 'Well, i didn't see that coming!' and believe me, it takes a lot so surprise me in a book.