Cover image for Skraelings
Title:
Skraelings
Author:
Qitsualik-Tinsley, Rachel, 1953- , author.
Publication Information:
Toronto, Ontario : Inhabit Media, 2014.
Physical Description:
89 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
Summary:
In this adventurous novel--set in the ancient Arctic, but narrated for modern readers by an inquisitive and entertaining contemporary narrator--a young, wandering Inuit hunter named Kannujaq happens upon a camp in grave peril. The inhabitants of the camp are Tunit, a race of ancient Inuit ancestors known for their shyness and meekness. The tranquility of this Tunit camp has been shaken by a group of murderous, pale, bearded strangers who have arrived on a huge boat shaped like a loon. Unbeknownst to Kannujaq, he has stumbled upon a battle between the Tunit and a group of Viking warriors! As the camp prepares to defend itself against the approaching newcomers, Kannujaq and a Tunit shaman boy named Siku discover that the Vikings may have motivations other than murder and warfare at the heart of their quest.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781927095546
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

In this adventurous novel - set in the ancient Arctic, but narrated for modern readers by an inquisitive and entertaining contemporary narrator - a young, wandering Inuit hunter named Kannujaq happens upon a camp in grave peril. The inhabitants of the camp are Tunit, a race of ancient Inuit ancestors known for their shyness and meekness. The tranquility of this Tunit camp has been shaken by a group of murderous, pale, bearded strangers who have arrived on a huge boat shaped like a loon.
Unbeknownst to Kannujaq, he has stumbled upon a battle between the Tunit and a group of Viking warriors!
As the camp prepares to defend itself against the approaching newcomers, Kannujaq and a Tunit shaman boy named Siku discover that the Vikings may have motivations other than murder and warfare at the heart of their quest.
This lush historical fiction is steeped in Inuit traditional knowledge and concepts of ancient Inuit magic. The unique time and place brought to life in this exciting novel will delight young fans of historical and fantastical fiction alike.


Author Notes

Of Inuit ancestry, Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley was born into the traditional 1950's culture of iglu-building and dog-sledding, later becoming a translator, writer, and activist. She is a scholar of world religions, and considered an authority on Inuit language, mythology, and pre-colonial religion. She has published several hundred articles, as well as many mythic retellings and works of original fiction. Her current projects focus on utilizing fiction to discuss unique Inuit mystical and philosophical concepts stemming from Inuit cosmology of the pre-contact period. Her goal is to reveal, for all readers, the secret thought and sophistication behind Inuit cosmology. She has published for a wide range of ages, her work having been accessed as university course content. In 2012, she received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award for her written contributions to Canadian culture.

Of mixed heritage, Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley enjoyed a multicultural background steeped in naturalism, before training as a writer in Toronto. He is a literatist of world religions, comparative esoterism, and mythology, having come to focus on Inuit pre-colonial cosmology. After receiving an international award for a speculative fiction short ( Green Angel , 2005), he undertook the task of showcasing the unique flavour of pre-colonial Inuit imagery, combining speculative fiction elements with the world-setting of ancient Inuit thought. He is fascinated by the deep structure and "magical histories" borne in mythical allegory. His fiction and non-fiction, some of which has been accessed as university content, addresses a general range of ages.


Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Kannujaq's life revolves with the seasons, moving with his dog sled to follow the hunts that make life sustainable for the Inuit people. This nomadic lifestyle contrasts sharply with the villages of the Tuniit, who stay in one place in homes that cannot be moved. When Kannujaq comes upon a Tuniit village under siege by giant-men in enormous boats, he becomes drawn into their dispute and it changes his world forever. The authors, both scholars of Inuit language, history, and cosmology, have selected a singularly important and interesting time for Skraelings: the sunset of the ancient Dorset (Tuniit) culture and the dawn of contact and colonization for the Inuit. Told by a conversational third-person narrator, this novella captures the fear and wonder of the age. Heavy graphic illustrations further reinforce the gravity of the tale and an Inukittut pronunciation guide is included. Skraelings is a well-written, engaging introduction to the complex history of the peoples of the Arctic and their struggles for survival against the environment and each other.-Sara Saxton, Wasilla Public Library, Wasilla, AK (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.