Fiction - Adventure
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 02/27/2017
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Author Biography

Kathryn is a Sydney author whose interest in history and mythology was the catalyst for her debut novel Erinland to become a reality.

An adventure in the modern and ancient world, where the central characters seek acceptance and self-belief, the ‘players’ in Erinland find themselves in very different roles from their everyday life. Choices they make could mean the difference between life and death, with the consequences of these decisions reaching into their ‘real’ lives.

Written in the Fantasy genre, Book I bridges the ages, drawing on contemporary life and 9th Century history to create an authentic experience for the reader. A visual writer, she explores the mythologies of ancient Norway and Ireland, giving a tangible view of everyday life and the impact of the Gods in these two cultures.

Kathryn is married with three beautiful daughters. Amidst busy family life, she studied at Macquarie University to become a Primary school teacher. When she is not teaching, she loves to write and dabble in other creative pursuits such as painting and drawing. She and her husband hope to realise their dream and move to country NSW one day – soon.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

“‘We must protect the chalice and the sacred writings!’ cried Niamh of the Golden Hair. The sound of her commanding voice reduced the sound of the wailing wind to a frustrated whisper.” These are words we read at the opening of this enthralling tale of magic, masterfully crafted and filled with imagination. Meet Richard and Amy, two young adults with a lot of troubles to handle. But then, there is some solace in a world beyond the physical. Watch as the characters are irresistibly drawn into a world beyond their own, enticed by Erinland and the tough world of the Viking warriors and raiders. Erinland by Kath Berryman is a perfect combination of fiction, fantasy, and adventure that will arrest the attention of both young and adult readers.

I was immediately seduced by Kath Berryman’s writing that is filled with powerful images, with words flowing gracefully, each placed at the right place. From the very first page, the reader is transported to a different world and the author has a gift of vivid imagination that comes across the writing in an exceptional way. The reader is introduced to the conflict from the very first paragraph of the story. It begins with action and the action only intensifies as the characters are unveiled and readers get to know and love their path. Erinland is one of those books I read straight from cover to cover, a gripping fantasy that will remain with readers long after they are done reading. Character development was perfect. The plot was awesome and it moved pretty fast. Then there is the setting that takes readers across centuries, a unique culture, and characters that really fit neatly into the wonderful tapestry. I loved this one, yes, dearly.

Arya Fomonyuy

A sweet blend of fantasy and adventure, Erinland by Kath Berryman is the kind of novel that can appeal to both young and adult readers. The story features a deadly game that has two young adults transported into the turmoil of the 9th century, partaking in wars with the Vikings on their raids. Amy is addicted to online games, the kind of kid who finds it hard to fit in and who’d rather spend her time playing games by herself. But then dreams inspired by the virtual game soon become a reality and get her pulled into the 9th century. Erinland is a beautiful place, but it is about to be overrun by Viking raiders and Amy is caught up in the struggle. Richard suffers from feelings similar to Amy’s. Feeling unwanted, he takes to the streets and something unusual happens: a Viking warrior pulls him into the 9th century and he finds himself fighting with the Vikings to colonize Ireland.

Kath Berryman is a terrific writer and one of the things I enjoyed about her writing is the confidence with which she describes scenes, the settings, and her characters. The descriptions are powerful and the author creates a striking balance between dialogue and narrative, and there is a sweet poetry that runs through the writing with absolute beauty. Another great job she’s done is how well she explores 9th century Ireland, creating a setting that will enchant readers. Amy and Richard are lovable, memorable characters, and readers will enjoy seeing how they metamorphose as they step into another world. The themes of adventure, solitude, war, courage, freedom, and acceptance are well explored in this fantasy tale. Kath Berryman has an irresistible narrative voice. She creates characters who are both complex and real and readers start caring about them from the very first page of the story.

Rich Follett

Erinland by Kathryn Berryman is an enthralling history and mythology-laden epic adventure, impeccably constructed and perfectly aligned to the interests and imaginations of young adult readers, lovers of fantasy, and historical fiction enthusiasts. In the dual worlds of the 21st century and the Viking Age, three young adventurers - Amy, a video game-obsessed girl, Richard, a troubled Sydney street kid, and Aidan, a young monk tasked with guarding sacred relics in ancient Ireland - follow their intertwined destinies to an epic battle for home and survival that reflects the gritty essence of human endurance in all of its depth and intricacy.

Everything is here - epic adventure, exacting (and correct) historical detail, sharply drawn characters with all-too-real desires and human failings, a rock-solid plot that culminates in a delicious open-ended scenario born to stimulate the imagination, a easy-to-read suspenseful writing style that leaves the reader breathless at every turn, supernatural elements to dazzle and delight, and even a user-friendly glossary of character and place names and key terms from ancient Celtic, Norse, and Druidic cultures with correct pronunciations, fascinating tie-ins, and additional references for those who might wish to immerse themselves more fully in the world of Kathryn Berryman’s Erinland. As if all of this were not enough, an author’s note after the cliffhanger ending promises a sequel!

Kathryn Berryman’s Erinland, like the Book of Kells which inspired it, is a rare, glittering jewel which brings the passion and mystery of a distant past forward for modern eyes to embrace with wonder. As educational as it is entertaining, Erinland is a treasure waiting to be discovered by readers of all ages.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Amy is mesmerized by the computer game, Erinland. Virtual reality is providing an exciting escape for this young girl, struggling to accept her lot in life, attending an expensive school where no one likes her. It’s no fun being the outcast, especially at her age. She almost wished that her virtual reality was her reality. Who wouldn’t want to live a life with gods and goddesses and protecting ancient manuscripts and chalices? So, when ordered to bed by her mother, she reluctantly turns off the computer and climbs into bed, only to be sucked through the virtual reality of the computer game into the real world of Erinland. And Amy is a goddess and the Vikings are about to attack. And there are precious treasures to protect. But there is another person from her time, from her world. A young boy, Richard, escaping an abusive family situation, to find himself rescued by none other than a Viking warrior and he, too, is sucked back in time to the ninth century, to a Viking town, to a time in preparation for invading another land, Erinland, the place where Amy now resides.

Fantasy and virtual reality and time travel, with a little twist of history and mythology, Kath Berryman’s novel, Erinland, is a compelling narrative of ninth century Norway and Ireland. The lush depiction of the Irish landscape, and the detailed accounts of the powerful mythological beliefs that dominated the lives of the Irish and the Vikings, thread their own mysterious web of compassion, fear and riveting suspense. The reader relates intimately with the characters and, when the battle actually does begin, it is difficult to determine which side to cheer on. A wonderful story of myth, fantasy, time travel and virtual reality.

Lit Amri

Amy Bradshaw has problems fitting in at school, leading to her obsession with the virtual reality game, Erinland. One night, the messenger of Niamh of the Golden Hair, one of the game’s characters, appears and takes Amy to Erinland as she’s destined to save it from the Viking Raiders. Richard has a troubled home life and he ended up living on the streets. When another homeless man attacks him, he’s saved by a Viking warrior. He then finds himself dragged into 9th century Norway, where he joins the Vikings on a colonization raid to Ireland.

Erinland by Kathryn Berryman has an interesting concept, merging the history and mythology of ancient Ireland, Norway and a bit of Christian theology with the modern world. The overall characterization is good and believable. As we follow the two teenagers adjusting to their new lives and purpose, the universal desires of acceptance and self belief are apparent. Character development is sufficiently done and this helps in giving more depth to the plot. That said, it took me some time to warmth up to Amy. Richard, on the other hand, is easier to root for due to his background and family troubles. The prose is clear and has enough dynamic to keep the story flowing nicely, although there are some parts that could be more polished. There’s still a lot of unanswered questions for me on the mystery of Erinland, but perhaps everything will be clearer in the second book. All in all, this is a good debut from Berryman.