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An Irish Princess' Tale

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Melkorka is a princess, the first daughter of a magnificent kingdom in mediæval Ireland -- but all of this is lost the day she is kidnapped and taken aboard a marauding slave ship. Thrown into a world that she has never known, alongside people that her former country's laws regarded as less than human, Melkorka is forced to learn quickly how to survive. Taking a vow of silence, however, she finds herself an object of fascination to her captors and masters, and soon realizes that any power, no matter how little, can make a difference.

Based on an ancient Icelandic saga, award-winning author Donna Jo Napoli has crafted a heartbreaking story of a young girl who must learn to forget all that she knows and carve out a place for herself in a new world -- all without speaking a word.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 01, 2007 – Close in tone and audience to Napoli's Bound, this powerful survival story invents a backstory for Melkorka, a character in a major Icelandic work, the Laxd la saga. Melkorka, 15, and sister Brigid, eight, are daughters of an Irish king early in the 10th century, when Viking raids on castles and monasteries are common. After a Norse youth attacks their brother, their father plans revenge by luring a Viking ship to their town. The girls, dressed as boys in peasant clothing, are hurriedly sent for their safety to a distant ringfort. Instead, they are captured by Russian slavers who troll the coastlines, kidnapping women and children. To conceal their high birth, Mel and Brigid do not speak, and their silence gives them a hold over their captors, the leader of whom comes to fear that Mel is an enchantress. Napoli does not shy from detailing practices that will make readers wince: human hairs serve as sutures, bloody wounds are stuffed with moss and the Russian crew repeatedly gang-rapes an older captive. Melkorka's journey becomes intellectual as well as geographical. Accustomed to being waited on, she admits to disdain for slaves: Some are of ordinary intelligence, but most are stupid, she says at the beginning, an opinion that will change radically with her reversed circumstances. The vocabulary, much of which is specific to the setting, may challenge readers, but it's unlikely to stop them: the tension over Mel's hopes for escape paces this story like a thriller. Ages 12-up.

Customer Reviews

Love, Love, Loooved this book!!

This was an amazing book with wonderful description and imagination built into it!!!

such a great read!!

One of my most favorite books ever. such a great read and highly recommended.


The book was decent. The beginning sucked but it got better towards the end. I could live without reading this book. The plot was very short and stretched out over 992 i-book pages so it was kind of boring.

View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Level: Grades 7 and Above
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fairy Tales, Myths & Fables
  • Published: Jun 23, 2008
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Seller: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc.
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings