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Riddle of the Runes

Written by Janina Ramirez

Illustrated by David Wyatt

Crime / Mystery Debuts of the Month Featured Books for 7+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on Riddle of the Runes

In a nutshell: exciting Viking set crime mystery recommended for brave girls and boys

One of our 2018 Books of the Year

July 2018 Debut of the Month |Historian Janina Ramirez’s TV programmes  are as inspiring as they are informative.  Her passion for Viking history comes through loud and clear in this story for young readers, which is also inspiring, and a great crime mystery too.  Young Alva lives with her mother, uncle, baby brother and pet wolf Fenrir in the Viking settlement Kilsgard.  Her father is away ‘a-Viking’ and much missed. The peace of their community is disturbed by the arrival of an English monk. He says he’s on the trail of treasure – certain to catch Viking attention – but has been attacked, a companion kidnapped. Alva is determined to investigate and soon on the trail, at first independently, then as semi-official assistant to her investigator uncle. The mystery comes closer to home still when the two discover secret messages from Alva’s father amongst the clues.  Readers will pick up a real sense of Viking life as they compulsively turn the pages of this gripping adventure and Alva is a great new character in children’s books. 

Readers who can’t wait for the next book in the series will enjoy Caroline Lawrence’s historical crime series The Pinkerton Mysteries or the Artie Conan Doyle series by Robert J. Harris.

Andrea Reece

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Riddle of the Runes Synopsis

Viking expert and author Janina Ramirez introduces her debut children's book Riddle of the Runes: A Viking Mystery, illustrated by David Wyatt. The Viking town of Kilsgard has its fair share of mysteries and in this exciting new series, young investigator and shield maiden Alva follows the clues to solve them. Fierce, stubborn, and curious-Alva's bound to get in trouble along the way, but all that matters is being first to the crime scene.

Riddle of the Runes Reader Reviews

Some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Ellen Hall, Age 8 - 'In this story, Alva gets wound up finding her parent, getting hidden gold, sneaking out of the house, racing against time and trying to bring her family back together. It is a real page turner!'
  • Lily O'Dwyer, Age 9 - 'If you like a good adventure story and want to find out more about Vikings, then this is the book for you!'
  • Alex Hall, Age 12 - 'Alva, a young viking overhears talk of a kidnapper taking foreigners that are never seen again. At first, the plot was not that easy to follow, but I persevered & enjoyed reading the book to the end.'
  • Ethan Watkin, Age 10 - 'It was an action adventure book about a Viking who goes on an hunt to find clues about her dad's past. I would rate it 9 out of 10.'
  • Evie Macaulay, Age 12 - 'I feel braver and bolder having read this book.I thought I might be scared reading this story. I've never read a murder mystery before, but now I love this genre.'
  • Ross O'Gorman, Age 11 - An exciting story, packed with adventure and revenge that is centered around a brave Viking girl called Alva, who loves to solve mysteries with her pet wolf Fen.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780192766335
Publication date: 05/07/2018
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780192766335
Publication date: 5th July 2018
Author: Janina Ramirez
Illustrator: David Wyatt
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 256 pages
Suitable for: 7+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Crime / Mystery, Historical Fiction
Recommendations: Debuts of the Month, Reviewed by Children

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