Kathi Oram Peterson
Ms. Peterson has created historical fiction at its best. With roots in the middle of WW II, Treacherous Legacy explores the life of two people who seek to discover the true story behind a man who had long been labeled a German spy. The story takes them from Iceland to Denmark and back to Iceland - including opportunities to meet the Queen of Denmark in her palace and to visit the relatively famous Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavík, Iceland. The story is both tense and sad at times, but was well worth the time I spent reading it.
At times the writing seemed a bit awkward - as if written by an inexperienced writer writing in the first person. That was balanced by three characteristics that made the book stand out.
First was the inclusion of historical and geographical references that forced me to turn to Google for additional information - a feature that I appreciate when reading historical fiction.
The second characteristic that I appreciated was the use of brief Icelandic, German, and Danish, phrases by the story’s characters. These were easily translated using Kindle’s built-in translator. I discovered that the author had also included interpretations for many (all?) of these in the back of the book, though I did not discover this until I finished reading the book. It might have been more useful to include this “dictionary” near the front allowing the reader to use it as the book is being read.
Finally, the book includes a three-page essay in which she discusses the historicity of the book. She discusses a wide range of topics including the use of wireless technology by the Danish Resistance during WW II and the presence of eighty-nine-year-old women who are actively going to sea and traveling between Iceland and Denmark even today. Not only is each question clearly answered with a “yes” or “no”, but she also includes sources for her conclusions. This final essay is interesting in its own right.
I give the book 4-½ stars.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.