In the remote wilds of a ravaged land, Elka has been raised by a man who isn't her father. Since finding her wandering in the woods when she was seven, he has taught her how to hunt, shoot, set snares and start fires--everything she needs to survive. All she knows of the world outside is gleaned from whispers of a cataclysmic event that turned the clock back on civilization by a hundred and fifty years and reduced governments and technology to shambles, leaving men at the mercy of the elements--and each other.
Everything changes when Elka learns that the man she has been calling father is harboring a terrible secret. Armed with nothing but her knife and her wiles, she decides to escape his clutches and sets out on a long journey to the frozen north in the hope of finding her long-lost parents.
But as the trail of blood and bodies grows in her path, Elka realizes that daddy won't be letting his little girl go without a fight. If she's going to survive, she'll have to turn and confront not just him, but the truth about what he's turned her into. @goodreads
*I sat high, oak branch 'tween my knees, and watched the tattooed man stride about in the snow. Pictures all over his face, no skin left no more, just ink and blood. Looking for me, he was. Always looking for me. He left red drops in the white, fallen from his fish knife. Not fish blood though. Man blood. Boy blood. Lad from Tucket lost his scalp to that knife. Scrap of hair and pink hung from the man's belt. That was dripping too, hot and fresh. He'd left the body in the thicket for the wolves to find.*
It took me quite awhile to decide to read this book. I wasn't interested in books about a trapper, but this was seriously NOT what I was thinking, not one bit.
Elka was found by Trapper when she was seven-years-old. She had gotten swept up into a storm (literally) and dumped near his hut. He decided to keep her and teach her to live off the land. Elka thought of him as a father figure. Her parents had left her with her nana and set out to see if they could find gold in the North. Well things happened and she ended up living with Trapper for years. Until one day . . . the one day . . . she found out he was a killer. He killed women and boys and whatever he felt I guess. See, he not only hunted animals, he hunted people.
Elka found all of this out when he sent her to town to do some trading and there she saw a picture with Trapper on it. She couldn't read so she had no idea what it said, but a woman named Magistrate Lyon told Elka that he was a killer named Kreagar and she was looking for him. Elka didn't believe her of course and went back home but when the coppers followed her and found the shack and some grisley things Kreagar had locked up in a box, Elka had to believe. She was shocked, sad, disgusted, every feeling you could have with something like that.
Elka decided she was going to try to head up North and see if she could find her parents. It was a long shot it being so many years but she was set on doing it.
This is a story about Elka's journey and being trailed the whole time by Magistrate Lyon who thought she was in on the killings. Elka was trailed by Trapper as well.
Along the way Elka gets into some bad situations with people and almost with a bear! She did make friends with a wolf and my heart soared at that part.
Elka had some trouble when she got to a town and boarded a boat that a NICE man helped her with...yeah. Some more bad things happen but she also met Penelope whom she became close friends with and they helped each other. Penelope could read and had smarts about her and she helped Elka find her folks but it wasn't the great family reunion she was hoping for.
Elka and Penelope tried to eke out a living in a cabin in the woods but there's always trouble coming. The one good thing at the time that came out of it was that Elka actually talked to Magistrate Lyon and made a deal with her.
Penelope goes off to be with some other people and Elka is so alone, she hasn't seen Wolf in awhile and is afraid he has left her too. One day Penelope returns to give Elka some news. She was so happy to see Penelope but it wasn't to last. Penelope told Elka she had to go on the run again and it just made me so sad for this girl.
I mean, don't get me wrong, she's tough as nails. Really tough as nails and can fend for herself in the woods but she was so lonely all of her life. And she cussed like a sailor. I mean it was the backwoods and no one cared about that stuff. Elka was a great character to me and I loved her country dialect, it read perfectly for me because she sounds like the little boy that was in the movie "Sling Blade". I just loved her, it's that simple.
And just when Elka sets off alone . . . she finds that she's not . . .
*I would like to thank Blogging For Books for a print copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
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