Book Review: Land of Hidden Fires
By: Kirk Kjeldsen
Published By: Grenzland Press
Publication Date: January 24, 2017
Page Count: 212
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Author via NetGalley
Young Adult/Adult - Historical Fiction
World War II is an event that has long fascinated me. I don't pretend to know everything about the war and I am constantly looking for new knowledge concerning the history of the the people and events that surround the conflict. I truly love finding stories that focus on historical components that I didn't know. This novel was fascinating to me because I have never learned about Norway during this time.
Like many countries in Europe, Norway found itself under Hitler's thumb as the world went to war. Norway was neutral, but that didn't stop Hitler's forces from invading in April 1940. While Norway was forced to be under German rule, an underground resistance developed to support the Allies.
The main character, Kari Dahlstrøm, is fifteen years old when she finds a stranded Allied pilot, Lance Mahurin. Kari wants to help Lance get to Sweden. She daydreams about Lance being so grateful that he sweeps her off her feet and moves her to the United States with him. As Kari and Lance brave the Nordic setting and the danger of being in occupied territory, they will learn about the true resiliency of the human spirit. As the pair continues to navigate towards Sweden, Kari's father and a German officer are in pursuit, adding an extra layer of tension and danger to the tale.
Told through multiple narrators, Land of Hidden Fires is an important addition to the historical record of WWII. This is a quick read that mixes together the coming of age trope with a wintery setting. It was a perfect read for a cold, rainy December day under a flannel blanket. This read has me craving a trip to Norway.
One Last Gripe: I felt like some sections just skimmed the surface. I wanted more depth. The novel is super short, so I wanted
Favorite Thing About This Book: Adding to my historical knowledge
First Sentence: Kari looked up from mending a damaged sheep pen when she heard the faint buzzing noise.
Favorite Character: Kari
Least Favorite Character: Moltke
Occupied Norway, 1943. After seeing an allied plane go down over the mountains, headstrong fifteen year-old Kari Dahlstrøm sets out to locate the wreck. She soon finds the cocky American pilot Lance Mahurin and offers to take him to Sweden, pretending she's a member of the resistance. While her widower father Erling and the disillusioned Nazi Oberleutnant Conrad Moltke hunt them down, Kari begins to fall for Lance, dreaming of a life with him in America. Over the course of the harrowing journey, though, Kari learns hard truths about those around her as well as discovering unforeseen depths within herself.