Powerful bonds of sworn sisterhood are tested in this immersive journey through tenth-century Norway. In childhood, sisters Oddny and Signy take a blood oath with their friend Gunnhild, swearing to always help each other. After years apart, Gunnhild reunites with Oddny to search for a kidnapped Signy. This is a story of love and power: from chosen family to tender care and enemies-to-lovers slow burn romance; from political intrigue and tough choices to resilience and self-determination. The landscape of this pivotal era in Norse history is infused with magic and folklore, brought to life in Gornichec's enchanting voice. Complex characters and a captivating plot make this one of my favorite books of 2023. The Weaver and the Witch Queen is an excellent fit for readers who loved Circe and historical fiction that humanizes figures of myth, spinning new meaning from their stories.— Oli Schmitz
The lives of two women—one desperate only to save her missing sister, the other a witch destined to become queen of Norway—intertwine in this spellbinding, powerful novel of Viking Age history and myth from the acclaimed author of The Witch’s Heart.
Oddny and Gunnhild meet as children in tenth century Norway, and they could not be more different: Oddny hopes for a quiet life, while Gunnhild burns for power and longs to escape her cruel mother. But after a visiting wisewoman makes an ominous prophecy that involves Oddny, her sister Signy, and Gunnhild, the three girls take a blood oath to help one another always.
When Oddny’s farm is destroyed and Signy is kidnapped by Viking raiders, Oddny is set adrift from the life she imagined—but she's determined to save her sister no matter the cost, even as she finds herself irresistibly drawn to one of the raiders who participated in the attack. And in the far north, Gunnhild, who fled her home years ago to learn the ways of a witch, is surprised to find her destiny seems to be linked with that of the formidable King Eirik, heir apparent to the ruler of all Norway.
But the bonds—both enchanted and emotional—that hold the two women together are strong, and when they find their way back to each other, these bonds will be tested in ways they never could have foreseen in this deeply moving novel of magic, history, and sworn sisterhood.
About the Author
Genevieve Gornichec earned her degree in history from the Ohio State University, but she got as close to majoring in Vikings as she possibly could, and her study of Norse myths and Icelandic sagas became her writing inspiration. Her national bestselling debut novel, The Witch’s Heart, has been translated into more than ten languages. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
“Intimate and sweeping, richly detailed and propulsive, tragic and uplifting, The Weaver and the Witch Queen proves Genevieve Gornichec really can do it all. Oddny and Gunnhild's story is epic, timeless, and most of all honest in its portrayal of the indomitable strength of women, the joys and pains of sisterhood, and the limitless power of love in all its many forms.”
-Vaishnavi Patel, New York Times bestselling author of Kaikeyi
“Gornichec is a masterful storyteller, crafting remarkable characters full of bravery and heart, a rich world, and the intimate and unbreakable bonds of sisterhood and love. I was both moved and fascinated by this wonderful historical fantasy – epic, tragic, with a slow burn enemies-to-lovers romance.”
–Sue Lynn Tan, bestselling author of Daughter of the Moon Goddess.
"The women will do everything in their power to find their blood-sworn sister, and Gornichec carefully weaves multiple story lines full of political upheaval, romance, and self-discovery into their quest...there's plenty to enjoy in this lush, Norse mythology-infused world. Fans of Circe and The Book of Gothel will be especially enchanted."
“An epic novel about magic, sisterhood, and the bonds that can both bind and break us. This story stayed with me long after I finished reading.”
–Alexis Henderson, author of The Year of the Witching
"Gornichec showcases her knowledge of Icelandic folklore and history, while her storytelling reveals the complex and engrossing lives and emotions of her characters."
“From the moment I picked up The Weaver and the Witch Queen, I was enthralled. This is a rich, magical reimagining of Viking history, with all the bloodshed, tragedy and tangled webs of fate required of any great epic—but it is above all a gloriously woven tapestry of love, loyalty, and the extraordinary bonds of sisterhood.”
–Sangu Mandanna, national bestselling author of The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches
“Gornichec presents a page-turner that gives readers a look into prejudices and what one can see when looking past them. It’s a lesson in knowing someone truly to the core, creating bonds that cannot be broken. Friendship, love, power, and resilience reign in this historical fantasy full of witches, Vikings, raids, and braids.”
“Entwines impeccable storytelling, fascinating historical detail and characters so nuanced and mercilessly human that I fell for every one of them and still can’t let them go. Give me everything Gornichec writes—I will devour it.”
–H.M. Long, author of Hall of Smoke
“A saga of blood and magic and hardship that explores what we owe to those we love—and what it costs to actually pay that debt.”
"Beautifully woven and achingly human…a masterful tale about sisterhood, destiny, and what we're willing to do for the people we love. Gunnhild and Oddny's journeys cut to the heart of what it feels like to be right and wrong, together and alone, bold and afraid, all at once. I loved it."
–Allison Epstein, author of A Tip for the Hangman
"They say your second book is the hardest one to write, but Genevieve Gornichec - leaning on her Norse mythology love yet again as with debut The Witch's Heart - performs a magic hat trick with her sophomore novel...The ingredients are there for a heroine's journey and the result is a delicious Christmas pudding - crunchy, sweet, rich and a little bit hot once you set it on fire."
"Gornichec's book takes the scant details about the historical Gunhild's life-her author's note has some helpful details about which specific sagas her story draws from-and spins them into a rich and magical tale of sisterhood and survival, revenge and sacrifice, with a satisfying dollop of enemies to lovers romance and trans representation on top. The historical world she constructs is rich and vivid, full of the sort of lived-in, careful details that make the setting come alive on the page."
“A breathtaking saga of a novel that brims with page-turning tension and wit, impeccable historical and cultural detail, and heroines that are at once fierce and complex but also full of true heart and soul.”
–Olesya Salnikova Gilmore, author of The Witch and the Tsar
“Filled with sea voyages, political intrigue, surprise betrayals, and tender love, this historical fantasy will thrill readers and capture their hearts.”