Runes Beyond the Edge
Author: Laurel Means
Description: An original story—yet based on historical fact? the compelling account of a Norse boy’s challenging adventure from fourteenth-century Norway to the midwest prairies, the “Western Edge.” Harald-Son-of-the-Bear must prove himself worthy of King Erik’s trust. His companions include the quick-witted and humorous Snorri and a brave Greenland girl, Astrid. He encounters storms at sea and evil characters such as the alleged witch, Heckla, and the greedy thief Ufila. He also meets native American Ojibway and Mandan. Over self-confidence separates him from his companions and father—leader of King Erik’s expedition to the New World. Now Harald must survive on his own in this “wilderness of no return” with lost trails, treacherous waterways, and terrifying encounters. Will some old Viking skills learned from his grandfather protect him? The search for his lost father and a violent storm at sea threaten challenges far beyond their promised help.
Harald’s story was inspired by wording found on a rune stone, discovered near Kensington, Minnesota, in 1898, and the many theories concerning its authenticity. This information is briefly provided in an historical note in the optional appendix.