Thirrin may be only fourteen, but she is a warrior queen, ready to lead her soldiers and her allies into battle to save the independence of her tiny country.

Beware! The cry of the Icemark is heard in the land! "Blood! Blast! And Fire! Blood! Blast! And Fire!" Warriors of the Icemark prepare for battle with the huge army of the Polypontian Empire, led by General Scipio Belllarum. The general and his huge army have never been defeated, and he expects to crush the tiny country easily, making a total of four countries and five provinces that he's added to the Empire. The general thinks he will be facing an army of a few hundred warriors and part-time soldiers, led by a fourteen-year-old girl. And perhaps the general is right, as far as his knowledge goes. But reality will be far, far different from what he expects.

Thirrin Freer Strong-in-the-Arm Lindenshield, the Wildcat of the North, is no ordinary girl. She is a fierce warrior princess who has trained her entire life to rule the Icemark and to defeat its enemies. Her father ruled the Icemark for more than twenty years, and passed his knowledge of war and diplomacy on to her. Hers is a small country with few allies, and Thirrin knows that unless she finds someone to stand beside her, she will be defeated. She talks her father into a treaty with the werewolves, when she realizes that the werewolf she fought in the forest showed intelligence and perhaps even humor and compassion, rather than being the evil killer she's been told that those of the Wolf-Folk are. Because of that encounter, and the things that came after it, Grishmak Blood-Drinker, King of the Wolf-Folk, swears his allegiance and his friendship to the Icemark and to Thirrin. After her father's death in battle, Thirrin's friendship with Oskan Witch's Son helps bring her other allies. The people of the Holly King and of the Oak King, the Snow Leopards and the King and Queen of the Vampires also agree to stand by her side and fight Bellarum and the army of the Empire.

So it is no ordinary army that General Bellorum faces. He has been taught to believe in logic, science, rational thought and reality. And the army he will be fighting is made up not only of men, but also of supernatural creatures he has always believed to be legends—talking animals, werewolves, vampires and trees that turn into men—led not by a naïve, fragile girl, but by a strong and knowledgeable warrior queen, who leads her soldiers into battle with the confidence and skill of one who has "blood proof" of her abilities.

The general has won every battle he has fought, but the forces he faces this time are unlike any other. "Blood! Blast! And Fire!" The cry of the Icemark rings out and the warrior queen and the general begin the battle of their lives.

 

This booktalk was written by librarian and booktalking expert Joni R. Bodart.