This early novel by Sigrid Undset took me by surprise. Written in a terse pseudo-saga style, it harbours a traditional love-and-revenge-driven drama, subtly combined with a slightly more modern plot, and an essential role for the female protagonist of the story, Vigdis.
Without wanting to spoil too much of the story, Vigdis and Ljot are two headstrong people from mediaeval Norway and Iceland, entangled in an affair of love and hate. While Ljot bears the original responsibility for their failed relationship and all subsequent hurt and destruction, both characters are presented in a balanced manner.
A fine example of how writers around the turn of the 20th century combined stylistic and thematic influences from the Middle Ages with modern literary form.