janni lee simner
After her mother mysteriously disappears, sixteen-year-old Haley
convinces her father to take her to Iceland, where her mother was last
seen. There, amidst the ancient fissures and crevices of that volcanic
island, Haley meets gorgeous Ari, a boy with a dangerous side who
appoints himself her protector. When Haley picks up a silver coin that
entangles her in a spell cast by her ancestor Hallgerd, she discovers
that Hallgerd's spell and her mother's disappearance are connected to a
chain of events that could unleash terrifying powers and consume the
world. Haley must find a way to contain the growing fires of the
spell—and her growing attraction to Ari.
Back in 2009 I read Runemarks by Joanne Harris. I wasn't in love with that book, mainly because I felt that Harris assumed the reader was already familiar with Norse mythology so at times I felt lost. Still, while reading Thief Eyes, I felt like this was just a less complicated, watered down version of Runemarks.
The only commonality they have is the mythology. Munin & Freki are really the only two recognizable characters from Norse mythology, but it is implied at one point that Odin is on his way though neither Freki or Munin ever refer to him by name.
The first third of the book I was pulled in immediately. Haley and her father return to Iceland because Haley must see with her own eyes the place her mother was last seen. There is talk of an affair, of a spell, of ancient debts and bargains with fire and everything was oh-so-interesting. But then it just kind of drags on. Ari (who of course, is gorgeous) and Haley must trek some 200 kilometers (or miles, I can't remember which) and so the rest of the book just seems to focus on this walk. Until finally, the climax of the story and then another two chapters of wrap up that were completely unnecessary.
When compared to the Faerie books (Bones of Faerie & Faerie Winter) this book doesn't hold a candle. I loved the Faerie books and this one I could have done without.