A gripping Viking tale of one woman’s courage, facing old and new gods in the savage beauty of Ice Island.
Desperate to make a settled life for her people in a brutal, inscrutable land, the Viking seer, Bera, feels the earth convulse during the hard birthing of her daughter.
Somehow this upheaval links from the black bead of her necklace to the precious black stone, Obsidian. Bera has to connect with the land, to read and understand its ancient patterns of death and rebirth, to find out how she can stop the approaching disaster. Her quest takes her to a community in the Far North, where the black stone is guarded. The folk there worship the serpent. What power does the Serpent King have and what would he do to take the stone? There are others from her past who also want it.
As her visions start to come true, Bera has to steal Obsidian and then use it. But at what cost? Obsidian gives a stark reflection of her true nature – and reveals what the worst sacrifice of all will be.
WATCH: SUZIE ON OBSIDIAN
Suzie Wilde is published through Unbound, a crowdfunding publisher. After successfully publishing her debut novel The Book of Bera - Sea Paths with Unbound, Suzie now needs your support in publishing new novel Obsidian. To pre-order the book visit the Unbound website, where you can choose to pledge for the e-book, hardback edition, signed copies of the book and even experiences such as the chance to have a writing workshop with Suzie or visit the British Museum as her guest. All people who pledge for the book will get their names printed in every edition.
THE BOOK OF BERA - SEA PATHS
Born and raised in a stark, coastal village on the shore of the Ice-Rimmed Sea, Bera is the daughter of a Valla, the Vikings’ most powerful seers. But her mother died when she was young, leaving Bera alone with her gift, unable to control her feckless twin spirit or understand her visions of the future.
Beset with starvation, sickness and the walking dead, the brave and defiant Bera leads a perilous hunt for the narwhale, a sacred beast whose tusk is said to cure illness. But disaster strikes and her childhood friend Bjorn is slaughtered in cold blood by a rival clan. Returning with Bjorn’s body but without the magic tusk, Bera learns that her father has sold her into marriage with the chieftain of the murderous enemy.
In a strange new world of health and prosperity, Bera nurses her wounds and vows revenge. But there are more pressing matters at hand – not only must she learn to be a good wife, she must also gain the trust of her hostile young stepson and her new tribe. And as her powers grow stronger, her visions of looming disaster become more and more ominous until she must make the ultimate choice: will she choose vengeance? Or can she lead her people to safety before it’s too late?
The first in a brand new series of Viking adventure fantasy novels.
For fans of Joe Abercrombie’s multi-million selling Shattered Seaseries, Joanne Harris’s Runelight series, Giles Kristian’s Ravenseries. The novel combines the richness of Norse cultural detail with a timeless and gripping coming-of-age story. The first in a trilogy of Viking fantasy novels to be published by Unbound. The sequel, Obsidian, is forthcoming in spring 2019.
The Guardian, Top five Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Novels by Eric Brown, June 2017
"In The Book of Bera (Unbound, £16.99), Suzie Wilde heaps misfortune after catastrophe on the shoulders of her young protagonist, the eponymous Bera, and then catalogues her efforts to understand and overcome her lot. Bera is blessed – or cursed – with “sight”, the ability to see into the future, control the forces of nature and ward off evil spirits. She lost her mother when young, and loses her best friend; her father then weds her against her will to another clan. The setting is not that of some generic feudal/pastoral fantasy, but a lovingly detailed Norse land that Wilde brings to startling life along with the minutiae of Viking culture. As Bera grows with the knowledge of her gift, she foresees disaster ahead for her new clan, and is torn between the need to save her people and the desire to avenge the slaughter of her childhood friend. The first volume of the Sea Paths series, this is an impressive debut."
Lee Child (author best known for Jack Reacher novels, with over 100 million books sold)
"Wonderfully imagined and wonderfully written, full of character and intrigue, The Book of Bera is a terrific historical novel - instantly captivating and compelling, showing us how strange the past was, but also how similar it is to the present. Very highly recommended."
Tim Bouquet (author of COLD STEEL, 617, CUT & RUN etc)
"Wilde instantly conjures an elemental landscape of myth, mystique and mystery. Combined with a compelling central character and the elements of a fast-paced thriller, The Book of Bera is an impressive debut."
Peter Lovesey (multi-award winning author of crime fiction etc)
"This is an extraordinary first novel. It’s an exceptional achievement of the imagination to take the reader into such a completely different society and make it believable from the start, making no concessions about explaining terms of Viking lore - not to say some of Wilde’s own invention - the reader will at first find difficult and be forced to learn - which I'm sure was a wise decision. Through Bera's eyes we experience this savage, sometimes alien and sometimes humane world that has clearly been established through generations. Her survival matters to us, and that ensures we'll go on reading and caring what happens to her. She's a strong, brave protagonist, every bit as tough as the female cops so many writers are portraying in modern crime thrillers. I love the way Wilde tells the story, the relentless action and the sharp uncompromising dialogue."
Jonina Leosdottir (Icelandic author of YA, crime novels and plays)
"The world of the book opens up right at the beginning and I immediately had a feeling for it - how it looked and felt and what life was like there. I am full of admiration for how you describe all the surroundings and the effects of Nature on the characters and their lives … I “bought” this landscape, this world, this history and the whole culture “hook, line and sinker”. It all feels as real as childhood memories. Your story fascinated me completely, I got pulled into it and it will stay with me for a long, long time…"
Kirsty Hanson (book blogger @thebibliophilegirl)
"There were parts of The Book of Bera that made me want to scream, cry and stop reading altogether. I felt emotionally attached to many of the characters - and even the animals - so I was so upset when any of them went through turmoil. The ending was absolutely brilliant and I do hope that there will be another book as I want to see how Bera continues on her journey and how she keeps growing. This is an amazing book that tackles loss, death, destruction, love, family and hope and I recommend that as soon as this book comes out, you order it, you buy it, whatever. Just make sure that you get your hands on!"