Í skugga hrafnsins (In the Shadow of the Raven)

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I Skugga Hrafnsins--released in English-speaking countries as Shadow of the Raven--is essentially Tristan and Isolde, Icelandic style. During the late 11th century, Iceland is gradually being converted to Christianity, but old ways die hard. Tratusi (Reine Brynolfsson), a young Norseman, returns home to discover that his family is embroiled in a deadly feud...over the beached carcass of a whale. When the rival clan leader is killed, he is replaced by his daughter Isold (Tinna Gunnlaugsdottir) To assure that peace will reign in the region, Isold is promised in marriage to the son of the Bishop of Iceland (Sune Mangs)--who, despite his position as official spokesperson of Christian values, is corrupt and power-hungry. Isold would be willing to swallow her indignation and concede to this marriage of diplomacy, but she has fallen in love with her "enemy" Tratusi. Her plan to follow her heart while seeming to follow her duty inevitably ends in tragedy. Slow going for non-Scandanavian audiences, I Skugga Hrafnsina picks up tremendously in its violent final third. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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