Daughter of the Wind

By: Michael Cadnum
Copyright: August, 2003

The cover art for Daughter of the Wind
The cover art for Daughter of the Wind

Daughter of the Wind, by Michael Cadnum, tells the story of two young adults who live in the Norwegian village of Spjothor. Gauk, a young hunter, discovers that he was chosen by the Gods to become a Beserkir, a fierce warrior that is nearly invincible when provoked, while Hallegerd, the beautiful daughter of Spjothor's Jarl (Leader), is kidnapped by Danes. Gauk and his new friend Hego, the blacksmith, leave Spjothor to try and rescue Hallgerd. Along the way, they battle gaurds, hunt bears, and even take on other beserkirs. Meanwhile, Hallgerd plots her escape with hopes of returning to her beloved village. She eventually meets up with Gauk and Hego and they race back to Spjothor, desperately trying to escape from the angry Danes.
This book taught me alot about the Viking Era. I learned that villagers believed in many Gods such as Odin and Thor, how villagers performed hunting missions, and that Vikings would kill people and burn down buildings just to make a profit.
The most amazing thing that I learned from Daughter of the Wind was the lifestyle of the beserkirs, whether or not they were completely real. A beserkir would wear a bear pelt to identify themselves, although no further armor, despite the fact that many of their enemies would wear full armor. Beserkirs were feared throughout Scandavia, and it was said that a single one could massacre everyone on an entire fifteen bench warship before dying themselves.
The most climactic part of the book was, in my opinion, the scene where Gauk lay bleeding in the snow, defeated by another beserkir. Before the other beserkir, named Yngvar, could deliver a finishing blow, Hego jumped out of their skiff and cleaved Yngvar's head in two. This moment was when Hego emerged as a strong warrior by saving his friend's life.