Fragments of Your Soul by E.S. Erbsland
RunesAndLetters, 2015; 440 pp
Reviewed by Juliana Amir
It’s been awhile since a book stretched my imagination and swept me far away into a richly atmospheric adventure. I discovered Erbsland’s creation by its frosty, surreal artwork, which is featured on the site. Fragments of Your Soul holds a modern vantage of Norse mythology, though to engage with this world, you don’t need knowledge of Norse gods—only an open mind.
The world building is heavily frontloaded and at the very start, it feels Arvid is slogging through, but by the fourth chapter, she becomes captivatingly real. From there, the characters she meets are so raw and multi-faceted, and the danger—posed by humans, gods, and nature alike—is so unparalleled.
Fiercely protective with a huge capacity to love, Arvid also has a dark side, and at times an unapologetic temper. Having slipped through a portal, she finds herself in a strange land with no foreseeable way to return home. By the end, it becomes potentially controversial whether Arvid is a strong female lead, but to me, she most certainly is. And so far in 2017, this is my favorite read.