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Vendetta: The Runestone Saga #2    by Chris Humphreys order for
by Chris Humphreys
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This 2nd in The Runestone Saga, following The Fetch, takes Sky March to explore his paternal ancestry in Corsica, where he seeks the means to save his cousin Kristin's soul. In the first book, Sky learned to release his Fetch. But his grandfather Sigurd, who taught Sky to use the power of Viking runes to journey back in time, transferred his own Fetch - in a form of possession - into Kristin. Now Sky seeks different secrets from his other bloodline, in order to fight this powerful foe and rescue his cousin.

What he finds in Corsica is a centuries long vendetta between his own Marcaggi ancestors and the wealthy Farcese. Luca, his grandfather's sister, teaches Sky the Way of the Mazzeri, Dream Hunters, demanding that he use these skills to kill the last of the Farcese, an attractive young woman named Jacqueline, and avenge his Marcaggi grandfather's murder. Seeking an alternative, Sky learns of the Mazzeri Salvatore, who heal rather than kill. And he time travels again, to meet and learn from the ancestress named Tza, who began the feud after a raid by Arabs. He wins new power at a high cost and takes it back to England, where he faces Sigurd once more, but wins only a partial victory.

In this series, Chris Humphreys offers exciting action adventure laced with a strong element of horror. In an Author's Note at the back of the book, he explains where his ideas came from, as well as some of the historical background, and themes he intends to convey. Vendetta has a cliffhanger ending that will leave fans anxious for Book III in The Runestone Saga.

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