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Book of the Month: Riddle of the Runes

Riddle of the Runes

Written by Janina Ramirez and illustrated by David Wyatt

‘A book that every aspiring shield maiden should keep close to her heart if she wants her buckles to truly swash. A tale with a big, warm, wild heart.’
Frank Cottrell-Boyce

Abruptly woken in the middle of the night by the village jarls calling upon her uncle to investigate the story of a mysterious English stranger, Alva is drawn into an epic quest that has her family at its very core. Protected by her tame wolf, Fenrir, and with the aid of her mother and uncle, Alva must decode mysterious runes, explore the farthest reaches of her homeland, and confront some difficult family truths.

Riddle of the Runes is the first book in a new series that combines Viking history, adventure, and mystery so deftly that readers will find themselves on the edge of their seat. For readers aged 9+.

Watch the book trailer:


To celebrate the publication of Riddle of the Runes we’re giving away five copies of the book. For your chance to win, visit our Oxford Owl Facebook page and tell us which period of history or which historical figure your child is most interested in and why.

Entry closes at 11.59pm on Sunday 29th July 2018.

Terms and conditions apply.

About the book

Please note: all book links lead to more information on Amazon.co.uk

Riddle of the Runes

Written by Janina Ramirez and illustrated by David Wyatt

Alva rushes through the trees in the dead of night with her sniffer wolf, Fen. Being out alone when there’s a kidnapper on the loose is reckless but if she ever wants to be an investigator like her Uncle Magnus, she’ll need to be the first to the crime scene. But what Alva discovers raises more questions than it answers, drawing her into a dangerous search for truth, and for treasure . . .

Spirited young shield maiden Alva is brave and passionate—fearless or reckless depending on who you ask. One thing is certain however: she has a fire in her belly and a wit that makes her a formidable detective and incapable of sitting on the side lines. Always encouraged by her father to push her limits, Alva has been struggling with the more conservative—and safe—approach of her mother since her father went a-Viking and failed to return. Can this new adventure bring them closer together, or will Alva’s insistence on putting herself in danger drive a bigger wedge between them?

As Alva embarks on this coming of age adventure, learning to strike the balance between independence and responsibility, we learn about Viking culture, customs and myths. And, with a section on runes and a Viking glossary, readers come away with a real insight into our erstwhile invaders.

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About the author: Janina Ramirez

Janina Ramirez is a historian and broadcaster who specializes in decoding symbols and uncovering the bigger picture behind works of art and literature.

She is course director for History of Art at Oxford University and has been writing and presenting history programmes for BBC television and radio since 2010. She has a weekly podcast ‘The Art Detective’, produced by History Hit. She has also written a number of academic books and articles on the early medieval period.

“I feel passionately about sharing my love for the early medieval world, and I hope this book will spark a love in other readers that will lead them to seek out more about this fascinating period in history.”

Watch Janina Ramirez talk about Riddle of the Runes

Book Extras

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