In a Sweden wracked by war and haunted by folk stories so dark they can only be spoken of in whispers, Helvig has been raised by her brigand father to steal whatever treasure catches her eye. When her men ambush a girl on the road with hair pale as death and a raven perched on her shoulder, Helvig cannot resist bringing home a truly unique prize: a genuine witch.
Drawn irresistibly into the other woman’s web, Helvig soon learns of Gerda’s reason for walking the icy border roads alone: to find the Queen who lives at the top of the world and kill her. Anyone else would be smart enough not to believe a children’s story, but Helvig is plagued by enchantments of her own, and she struggles to guard the sins of her past while growing closer to Gerda.
As Christmastide gives way to the thin-veiled days when ghosts are at their most vengeful, the two women find themselves on a journey through forest and Samiland to a final confrontation that will either redeem them or destroy them entirely.
Robbergirl was sent to me by the author to read and review honestly. I read this book in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down. The setting was so interesting, which is funny for me because I don’t like the snow or winter. But this snow-covered story was perfect for this tale. We follow Helvig who is the princess of thieves. She is confident and strong, but also shows that she can be vulnerable and make mistakes. I really enjoyed learning more about her. She’s in charge of a gang of misfit thieves, trying to teach them and guide them. I thought the group dynamic was fun and I really would have been happy to see more of it. I also was happy with the father/daughter relationship that we saw. I thought it was a great part of the story to see her father accept her for who she is and make sure she knew how much he loved her regardless of who she loves.
Enter Gerda. I thought the mystery that surrounded her for a solid part of the book made her that much more interesting. The suspense of finding out what her history was and where her future motivations were was definitely something that kept me interested in the story. I delighted in the romance between Gerda and Helvig. I would love to see more of them in the future. I think the romance was probably my favorite part of the story after the creepy/atmospheric parts. The two girls were both just a little timid and that made their first kiss that much sweeter. I was definitely cheering them on the whole time.
My favorite part of Robbergirl was the myth and folklore involved. I’m not overly familiar with folklore from this setting (Sweden). I thought it was very interesting to learn about the many different things you really don’t want to find in the woods. These potentially spooky things really grabbed my attention and left me wanting more.
Overall I flew through this story and enjoyed every page of it. I will definitely be reading S.T. Gibson’s other book, Odd Spirits, and continuing to lookout for her future writings. Robbergirl was the wintertime creepy queer romance I didn’t know I needed.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.