The Reindeer Hunters
July 26, 2022
Book Review

The Reindeer Hunters

The Reindeer Hunters is a sequel to The Bell in the Lake as well as a stand-alone novel. And it’s once again a masterful and spellbinding piece of storytelling.  

The roots of both stories go back to the conjoined twin sisters and their legendary tapestries, which were woven in accordance with the ancient Norse tradition and the rarest methods of plant-dyeing. There is one specific tapestry that was given to the church after the death of the sisters in 1613, but the tapestry is missing.

Pastor Kai Schweigaard feels bad about dismantling the stave church and in the process losing the church’s mystical sister bells. When he came to Butangen, a fictional place in Norway, he was all about modernization and putting end to the myths. But now, he feels differently. The new church lacks the atmosphere of the stave church. And finding the missing tapestry might bring him redemption, even though it’s woven with pre-Christian patterns, something he tried to eradicate.  

In 1903, Jehans Hekne is a young man. He is the son of Astrid Hekne, who was the main heroine in the first book. She died giving birth to Jehans. Jehans wasn’t accepted by the Hekne family, thus was raised by foster parents, and now enjoys his freedom on a homestead in the mountains outside Butangen, fishing and hunting for his livelihood. As he hunts, his path crosses with Victor Harrison, an Englishman, who is a regular hunter in Norway.

When Victor gets hurt while hunting, Jehans takes him to parsonage. There, the pastor sees something he hasn’t expected. The threads weaving the story are getting tighter, and even more fascinating.

As the pastor searches for tapestry, the story reveals history of weaving and its patterns. As men hunt, the story reveals the dangers of hunting, and what it takes to be a good hunter. The story brilliantly explores the themes of love, courage, and redemption as well as what it takes to accept changes and embrace a new era.

The stories of three men are superbly merged, with each chapter having an enigmatic end – not wanting to end, but then instantly engrossing with the beginning of next chapter. The magnificently developed characters engage with their stories, exploring the ups and downs that life throws at them.

The Reindeer Hunters begins with the mystery of the tapestry, then, its threads weave the stories of three men, and in the last part how they respond to changing times, and how they come to terms with what has happened in their lives. A spellbinding tale with beautifully explored themes of life.


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