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Fargoer

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Hear the call and join us as we travel to the Far North. To a time and place that exists only in the depths of our ancient past. To the vast woodlands, their surface unbreached by any plow. These stories wander in the winds of that distant land, in the cold whispers of the ancient forests. Vierra is a strong-minded girl of the Kainu tribe. When she, along with her cousin, h Hear the call and join us as we travel to the Far North. To a time and place that exists only in the depths of our ancient past. To the vast woodlands, their surface unbreached by any plow. These stories wander in the winds of that distant land, in the cold whispers of the ancient forests. Vierra is a strong-minded girl of the Kainu tribe. When she, along with her cousin, heads for a journey toward her adulthood, the forces that are to direct her life are set in motion. Can Vierra break her path painted in stone, a path leading her toward a life filled with great turmoil? Can she find her place among her tribe, or will she fulfill her destiny as the Fargoer? Fargoer begins the series of fantasy novels that draws its power from the harsh, yet beautiful nature and folklore of Finland. Its roots are at the same time in mythology and in the ancient, unwritten history. Fargoer's foundation has been laid on the wonders of the ancient world, and the fast-paced storytelling is colored by poetry, the age-old tradition of self-expression.


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Hear the call and join us as we travel to the Far North. To a time and place that exists only in the depths of our ancient past. To the vast woodlands, their surface unbreached by any plow. These stories wander in the winds of that distant land, in the cold whispers of the ancient forests. Vierra is a strong-minded girl of the Kainu tribe. When she, along with her cousin, h Hear the call and join us as we travel to the Far North. To a time and place that exists only in the depths of our ancient past. To the vast woodlands, their surface unbreached by any plow. These stories wander in the winds of that distant land, in the cold whispers of the ancient forests. Vierra is a strong-minded girl of the Kainu tribe. When she, along with her cousin, heads for a journey toward her adulthood, the forces that are to direct her life are set in motion. Can Vierra break her path painted in stone, a path leading her toward a life filled with great turmoil? Can she find her place among her tribe, or will she fulfill her destiny as the Fargoer? Fargoer begins the series of fantasy novels that draws its power from the harsh, yet beautiful nature and folklore of Finland. Its roots are at the same time in mythology and in the ancient, unwritten history. Fargoer's foundation has been laid on the wonders of the ancient world, and the fast-paced storytelling is colored by poetry, the age-old tradition of self-expression.

30 review for Fargoer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Richard Abbott

    Fargoer will appeal to those who like to immerse themselves in different settings, especially those which readily blend human society with the environment and spirituality. It is set in a deliberately unspecified pre-modern time, when different tribes and clans share a sparsely settled and lean land. To my mind at least, it offers a compelling and credible insight into how life carries on in an environment continually shifting between hostile and beautiful. The relationships between the various Fargoer will appeal to those who like to immerse themselves in different settings, especially those which readily blend human society with the environment and spirituality. It is set in a deliberately unspecified pre-modern time, when different tribes and clans share a sparsely settled and lean land. To my mind at least, it offers a compelling and credible insight into how life carries on in an environment continually shifting between hostile and beautiful. The relationships between the various people-groups dwelling in this wild region vary similarly, and any encounter carries with it uncertainty and risk as well as opportunity. In essence, the novel traces a series of stages of a journey made by the main character Vierra. Along the way she makes both friends and enemies, and comes into contact with a wide variety of groups inhabiting this part of northern Europe. The journey is traced out in physical space, but also takes her on an inner journey - one which can be every bit as rewarding and threatening as her geographical wanderings. Having been forced away from home, the return journey forces into focus the question of what she will find when she gets back. I first encountered Fargoer as a set of individual short stories. In that condition, the translation from Finnish was a little irregular between episodes. It has since been edited and reworked into a complete novel, helping the reader to see it as a whole story rather than separate pieces. In that light, the changes in the interior life of Vierra as she faces different situations become more apparent. The narrative style mirrors these interior changes. Close to her home environment, she becomes filled with her people's poetry and lives closer to the natural and spiritual worlds. Away from home, she retreats into a rather barren and stubborn will to survive. I have found Fargoer to be a compelling read, and have no hesitation in giving a five star review. It has not only lured me into its own world, but also into the wider base of myth and creativity within Finland as a whole. Without Fargoer I would not have read the The Kalevala (Oxford World's Classics edition), and so would not have discovered unexpected points of contact with other literature that I love. I would heartily recommend this book to readers who find pleasure in exploring different cultures, as well as the very diverse ways in which sibling rivalry can work itself out across a landscape.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Denna

    I received a free copy of Fargoer for the purpose of an honest review. What a fantastic story. It completely captivated me from start to finish. The setting and characters are brought to such three-dimensional life that I felt like was right there with them. We begin with Aure and Vierra, thirteen-year-old cousins who are on their way to see the First Mother, a rite of passage all young girls must go through after they start their menstrual cycle. The First Mother tells them that only one of them I received a free copy of Fargoer for the purpose of an honest review. What a fantastic story. It completely captivated me from start to finish. The setting and characters are brought to such three-dimensional life that I felt like was right there with them. We begin with Aure and Vierra, thirteen-year-old cousins who are on their way to see the First Mother, a rite of passage all young girls must go through after they start their menstrual cycle. The First Mother tells them that only one of them can be the next Chieftain and they must fight each other to the death right there to see who will go on. For the future of their tribe, there are two possible scenarios. If Aure defeats Vierra, their people will prosper at first, but eventually outsiders will invade their territory and wipe their people out. They would disappear forever. If Vierra wins, their people will suffer in life, but they would persevere as far into the future as the First Mother could see. Vierra wins the contest, but doesn’t have the heart to kill her cousin when the opportunity presents itself. This will be the first of many crossroads she will face throughout her life. From this point on we follow Vierra in a series of short stories, each one depicting a time in her life when she was faced with a difficult decision. Each story is self-contained and yet they all pull back to each other. I found it amazing how caught up in her life I became on an emotional level, the mistakes she made reminding me of my own lapses in judgment, and the consequences one must pay because of them. Who hasn’t looked back on key areas of their life and wished they’d traveled down a different path. It is a story of discovery and growth, and the perseverance of a strong spirit when the future offers so little hope. It’s hard to imagine anyone, young or old, male or female, being unable to connect in some way with Vierra and the life she tries so hard to keep control of. I look forward to reading more about her in the near future. An excellent beginning to what I hope will be a successful series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Donald Armfield

    I received a copy of Fargoer from author in exchange of review. a straight out fantasy is not always my top pick for choice read. In this deep fantasy 2 sisters come to choice of the next ruler. When only one sister is chosen sibling rivalry becomes a fight. Maybe I'm wrong but I got lost in this dense fantasy world. Getting up to 50% I decided to call it quits. The poetry spread through out the chapters I found very well written. Fantasy readers should check this out, but my cup of tea needs mor I received a copy of Fargoer from author in exchange of review. a straight out fantasy is not always my top pick for choice read. In this deep fantasy 2 sisters come to choice of the next ruler. When only one sister is chosen sibling rivalry becomes a fight. Maybe I'm wrong but I got lost in this dense fantasy world. Getting up to 50% I decided to call it quits. The poetry spread through out the chapters I found very well written. Fantasy readers should check this out, but my cup of tea needs more spice in it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tiina

    Verevä ja ikiaikainen tarina Kainujen heimoon kuuluvasta Vierrasta. Pidin vauhdikkaasta ja vahvasta sankarittaresta. Kalevala-poljennolla kirjoitetut runot vahvistivat tunnelmaa.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ruthanne Taylor

    I loved this book from page 1 to finish. Can’t wait for the next installment. Well written & a nail biter. Fascinating to learn about some of the Finnish legends on which at least parts of the book are based.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pauline Ross

    This is essentially a collection of short stories gathered into one book, telling the life of a single character, Vierra. The setting is the forests and lakes of the far north of Scandinavia, where Vierra’s people live a placid life as hunter/gatherers, moving around their domain with the seasons and ruled by a female chieftain and a female witch, as is normal for their culture. But things are changing; to the south, there are experiments with settlement and agriculture, and from further afield This is essentially a collection of short stories gathered into one book, telling the life of a single character, Vierra. The setting is the forests and lakes of the far north of Scandinavia, where Vierra’s people live a placid life as hunter/gatherers, moving around their domain with the seasons and ruled by a female chieftain and a female witch, as is normal for their culture. But things are changing; to the south, there are experiments with settlement and agriculture, and from further afield come the Vikings in their longboats, stealing goods and capturing slaves. Vierra’s people, the Kainu, have a complex spiritual life, built around their environment, and involving poems to invoke the spirits as well as actions. At Vierra’s puberty ritual, she is told of a destiny for her, although it’s clear as the book progresses that this is not cast in stone, and her own actions may affect things. The various stories tell episodes from Vierra’s life, and some of it is fairly bleak, it has to be said. Many bad things happen to Vierra, and she herself changes as a result, losing her faith in the spirits and perhaps losing some of her humanity along the way. She is a compelling character, though, and I raced through the book to find out what happened to her in the end. The other characters are somewhat less rounded, with the possible exception of Rika. Most fall neatly into the good or bad ends of the spectrum. The book was translated from Finnish, and although the translator has done a good job (this is not a Babelfish travesty, by any means), there is some very stilted and clunky language in places, and one or two words are outright wrong. I had the feeling that the original language was rather elegant and poetic - not just the poems themselves, which crop up frequently, but many of the descriptive passages too, and along the way something got lost in translation. Nevertheless, it was always clear what was meant, and it never interfered with my enjoyment. Anyone looking for a cheerful read may be disappointed. After all her struggles, a truly happy ending would have been too much to hope for, but it is at least uplifting. It’s clear that’s there’s more to tell about Vierra’s life, so I guess there will be more stories to come. This is a great read for anyone who enjoys stories with a mythological twist, it features a truly strong female character, and it’s set in a time and place rarely featured in fantasy. I really enjoyed it. Four stars.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tommi

    Kirja alkoi vaisuhkona, mutta tapahtumat etenivät nopeasti ja ensimmäisten kolmenkymmenen sivun jälkeen odotusarvot nousivat huimasti. Joitakin seikkoja kirjan alkusivuilta olisin toivonut hyödynnettävän laajemmin jatkossa ja eräät tapahtumat olivat odotettavissa. Erityisesti pidin siitä, että kirja ei jäänyt rakentamaan päähenkilöä perinteisen kasvutarinan muodossa, vaan varhaislapsuudesta aikuisuuteen ja elämän kokemuksiin siirryttiin nopeassa tahdissa. Pidin tavasta, jolla kotimaisen ”histori Kirja alkoi vaisuhkona, mutta tapahtumat etenivät nopeasti ja ensimmäisten kolmenkymmenen sivun jälkeen odotusarvot nousivat huimasti. Joitakin seikkoja kirjan alkusivuilta olisin toivonut hyödynnettävän laajemmin jatkossa ja eräät tapahtumat olivat odotettavissa. Erityisesti pidin siitä, että kirja ei jäänyt rakentamaan päähenkilöä perinteisen kasvutarinan muodossa, vaan varhaislapsuudesta aikuisuuteen ja elämän kokemuksiin siirryttiin nopeassa tahdissa. Pidin tavasta, jolla kotimaisen ”historian” ja perinteen elementtejä oli käytetty. Kainujen eteläisten heimojen ja pohjoisempien heimojen eroja olisi voinut käsitellä laajemminkin, mutta joka tapauksessa kirjassa onnistuttiin luomaan tunnelma, että ihmiset ovat todellisia, vaikkakin jotkut hahmot jäivät valitettavasti hieman ohuiksi. Vierra itse oli kuvattu hyvin, varsinkin koska elämän koettelemukset jättivät oikeasti jälkensä eikä hahmo ollut kliseisen kaikkivoipainen. Kirjasta välittyi hienosti, että tapahtumien alue, kuten todellisuudessakin, oli harvaan asuttua eivätkä heimot muodostaneet tuhatpäisiä sotajoukkoja vaan pieniä ja ketteriä ryhmiä. Taistelukuvaukset olivat tyyliin sopivia, ei liian yksityiskohtaisia, mutta ei kuitenkaan pelkkiä sivulauseita. Aihepiiriä oli käsitelty erilaisesta kulmasta kuin vaikka Robert Holdstockin Merlin –sarjassa tai Mikko Karpin Väinämöisen vyössä. Joissain kohdissa tunnelma muistutti Holdstockin Alkumetsän (Mythago Wood) tunnelmia, ehkä siksi kaipasin, että kuvauksia, jotka toivat mieleen esimerkiksi piktit ja muut pohjoiset muinaisenglannin heimot, olisi laajennettu ja syvennetty. Samoin jäin hieman kaipaamaan seitojen ynnä muiden pyhien elementtien laajempaa käyttöä runomitan ulkopuolella. Kokonaisuus oli positiivinen yllätys ja toisen osan olisi mielellään aloittanut heti, kun viimeinen sivu tuli luetuksi.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Vierra on mukavan itsepäinen päähenkilö. Ei mikään nöyristelijä. Uskoo henkiin ja kohtalon olemassaoloon, mutta päättää myös olla välittämättä niistä. Kirjassa riittää käänteitä ja yllätyksiäkin, joten se piti otteessaan lukemisen ajan. Varsinkin alkupuolella pidin kirjasta huimasti. Miljöötä rakentaessaan Hannila tietää mistä puhuu, muinaiset tavat piirretään elävästi esiin. Kaukamoinen on oikeastaan ennemminkin kokoelma toisiinsa linkittyviä tarinoita kuin varsinainen romaani. Se paljastuikin l Vierra on mukavan itsepäinen päähenkilö. Ei mikään nöyristelijä. Uskoo henkiin ja kohtalon olemassaoloon, mutta päättää myös olla välittämättä niistä. Kirjassa riittää käänteitä ja yllätyksiäkin, joten se piti otteessaan lukemisen ajan. Varsinkin alkupuolella pidin kirjasta huimasti. Miljöötä rakentaessaan Hannila tietää mistä puhuu, muinaiset tavat piirretään elävästi esiin. Kaukamoinen on oikeastaan ennemminkin kokoelma toisiinsa linkittyviä tarinoita kuin varsinainen romaani. Se paljastuikin loppupuolella kirjan heikkoudeksi. Odotin jonkinlaista selkeämpää punaista lankaa, selkeämpää käännekohtaa. Vierran seikkailuja oli mielenkiintoista seurata, mutta se jokin, joka olisi nivonut kaikkea tapahtunutta yhteen, jäi vielä puuttumaan. Ehkä jatko-osa tuo draaman kaaren esille. Hannilan kieli on selkeää ja tarinaa rytmittävät Kalevalaishenkiset laulunpätkät, loitsut. Paikoitellen kielessä kuitenkin huomasi kirjan omakustanteisuuden. Sitä olisi voinut toimittaa terävämmin, ottaa pois löysyyttä ja toistuvia omituisia sanajärjestyksiä, vaikka ne sinänsä miljööseen sopivatkin. Ilahduttavan toimiva ja ihanasti metsäntuoksuinen fantasiatarina oli se, vaikka jäinkin lopussa kaipaamaan... jotakin.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Helka Kärkinen

    I read Fargoer in Finnish and as it is my native language and the story is set to medieval pre-christian era of our country, it was only the right thing to do. The story is about a young girl Vierra, her path in life is set already, but her choices lead her way to physical and mental hardships. She's born to a hunter-gatherer tribe at the time the Vikings and other people try to find their way into the heartland of Vierra's world. http://www.fargoer.com/ The poetry in between the story follows Fi I read Fargoer in Finnish and as it is my native language and the story is set to medieval pre-christian era of our country, it was only the right thing to do. The story is about a young girl Vierra, her path in life is set already, but her choices lead her way to physical and mental hardships. She's born to a hunter-gatherer tribe at the time the Vikings and other people try to find their way into the heartland of Vierra's world. http://www.fargoer.com/ The poetry in between the story follows Finnish National epic Kalevala both in form and in content. The poetry is about the birth of the world and controlling various forces, like fire, in a mythological way. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalevala Vierra's story could have been written as an adventure, but it's more than that, it's epic without the cliches such of making Vierra a remarkable heroine or mythological commander of forces of the forest. I'm looking forward to reading more of Vierra's story. Thank you Petteri Hannila for creating this story. Kiitos.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Diana Jackson

    This is a beautifully written fantasy and yet based on traditional tales of Scandinavia. I enjoyed it so much that it is my summer book review on my blog http://dianamj.wordpress.com/summer-b...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eric Schumacher

    Fascinating tale I really enjoyed this book. This was my kind of story. It blended early history about a far away place and time with an intriguing main character and supporting cast. I look forward to reading the next installment.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Caro Marentes

    Una historia intrigante y misteriosa llena de encanto y dolor, de sufrimiento y trisreza de un alma solitaria llamada Vierra, una gran guerrera de su pueblo que ha pasado muchas calamidades y ha sobrevivido a pesar de ellas

  13. 4 out of 5

    Srinivas Murty

    A unique tale A strange unique world with interesting characters. The protagonist was well depicted. The poems were a bit much. The description of the landscape and the desolation was quite haunting.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eisah Eisah

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received a free copy on this book in exchange for an honest review. PROS: - There's a lot of strong parts to this story. There were many strong and different characters and their actions fit with their cultures. - The way Vierra (as well as several others) grew and changed in the story was believable. The way Vierra acts in the beginning in the tribe contrasts greatly with the way she acts when she comes back, and there's a definite feeling that she's more worldly and less likely to blindly belie I received a free copy on this book in exchange for an honest review. PROS: - There's a lot of strong parts to this story. There were many strong and different characters and their actions fit with their cultures. - The way Vierra (as well as several others) grew and changed in the story was believable. The way Vierra acts in the beginning in the tribe contrasts greatly with the way she acts when she comes back, and there's a definite feeling that she's more worldly and less likely to blindly believe anything. - A lot of the events were believable, and even though there were certainly mystical elements that crept into the story sometimes they didn't pervade every aspect. - The main character had both times of weakness and strength. As a whole I think people would understand what she was going through. I never got a sense that she was acting illogically according to her situations. - Not only did Vierra have times of weakness and strength, but she also had times of good and bad. She killed many people during the course of the story - I thought Aure's eventual downfall was handled well. She had good reasons for what she did, even if what she was doing was evil. - The world was well-built. I never had to stop and wonder, "Wait, how does that make any sense?" CONS: - Sometimes it seemed like the author was trying too hard to point out that the women were in charge in the Kainu tribe and some things came off awkwardly because of it. Example: Man: "Seita will have her revenge and so will I. Whose belt have you around you? My belt. Give it to me and bow before me for mercy, and I might forgive you." Vierra: "The belt is not mine but my husband's, so I cannot give it to you. And I am not responsible to you for my doings. My chieftain is a woman like was my mother and my mother's mother. Go away and leave me alone." I didn't see why she would bring up that the chieftain was a woman in that conversation. The response could have easily ended with an annoyed "And I am not responsible to you for my doings." and sounded more natural. There was also a part earlier where Vaaja said, "Chieftain-man", and Vierra mentioned how weird it would be for a chieftain to be a man. Vaaja clearly didn't know much of their language at that point. I think it could have been better if, considering how strange it would be for her, she thought he was trying to say "woman" but didn't know the word for it. Maybe even laughed inwardly at his blunder. - I didn't understand why Alf and Oder insisted on leaving that instant in the cold of the night instead of waiting for morning. The master was dead so why not eat the food there or something? I could understand being fidgety, but it just seemed reckless to leave the warm shelter and food and run off when the master, who seemed to be the only threat to them, was already dead. - There were a few parts where the wording seemed awkward to me. ("Extending her hearing," "asked Ambjorn from Vierra.") - In the beginning, Rika and Vierra didn't have quite enough time together to really show the connection. - There were a couple of parts that confused me. For example, there's a part where it seems Rika gives her necklace to Vierra, but I was confused exactly how it happened. I know she was talking to Eera, and I know she presented the necklace and then was upset Eera wanted to leave, but how exactly the necklace got into Vierra's hands I wasn't sure. I thought perhaps she'd tossed it aside at first, but she clearly knew later that Vierra had it and said she'd given it to her. - Sometimes I felt descriptions dragged on a bit long. Not that things were poorly described, but I didn't feel like I needed as many details as I got. I think this book will appeal to people who are looking for a strong woman in their novels. Vierra doesn't come off as a shallow placeholder - she acts on her own, fights on her own and make many decisions on her own and her strength in hunting feels real. Which doesn't mean she's always right or never loses. It's a pretty strong basis for a series, so if the premise seems promising to someone I'd definitely recommend they give it a try.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Diamond

    Fargoer was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Full review on my blog: http://diamondlovestoread.blogspot.com This book is reads as a series of short stories; with each chapter consisting of a different theme. It was mostly a short story format, yet some seemed more like chapters—while others took huge leaps and bounds and were definitive short stories. Fargoer has some really strong redeeming qualities. I love Vierra (the main character). I really do. She's strong, re Fargoer was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Full review on my blog: http://diamondlovestoread.blogspot.com This book is reads as a series of short stories; with each chapter consisting of a different theme. It was mostly a short story format, yet some seemed more like chapters—while others took huge leaps and bounds and were definitive short stories. Fargoer has some really strong redeeming qualities. I love Vierra (the main character). I really do. She's strong, resiliant, and unique. She has strengths, weaknesses, quirks, etc. I found her very real. I think anyone who can create a character like Vierra has a lot to be proud of. I know writing strong characters can be really hard. And this was a big one for me. She kept me reading. I genuinely wanted to know what was going to happen to her. For a character that was part of an ancient tribe (of female leaders) at the time of the Vikings...I am surprised I didn't feel more a disconnect (how can I relate?). The fact that I didn't feel a disconnect with the characters is pretty cool. Another good thing was the historical aspect. As a lover of historical fiction, I appreciate when novels are written factually without seeming to read like an encyclopedia. It felt real. It felt true. These are very important qualities in a novel. I also loved how each "chapter" had unique artwork at the beginning (it foreshadowed the tone of the chapter). That was really cool. I've always been interested in female tribes that were dominated by females and the males filled the role that women do in our society. I really loved how Vierra got to "choose" her husband, and the way that their tribe (and others that the story covered) came into contact with. It was really impowering. It was also wonderful to see the Vikings in a different light--from the tribes of the land they invaded. I can't think of any other novels I have read with this subject matter. Most of the time I was having a hard time getting into it because I'm not too fond of the native/aboriginal hunter/gatherer type stories where it's like 'she caught the fish with one quick thrust of her spear' --or some narrative like this. It's a matter of taste, I guess. If you like learning about ancient cultures in an extremely descriptive way that could pass for nonfiction-- then you may find it more interesting. The other thing I have to point out is pacing. The pacing needs work. There were times where I simply couldn't put it down..I wanted to know what happened to our Vierra! Then...(more often) I was so bored and had to force myself to go back to the story. I thought to myself, why wasn't this spread out a little better? If it was, I would stay interested for longer. Towards the end, a lot of events occur. This could have been maybe introduced earlier so the middle sections weren't so dry.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Eustacia Tan

    Let me start by saying that I think this book could be a lot longer. Currently, it's a very tightly written fantasy book, but I think it could be expanded into many more volume (I can see the current book being expanded into three volume). This isn't some criticism that important details were left out, it's just me wanting to read more. Fargoer revolves around Vierra. After a prophecy that either she or her cousin will lead their clan (with very different results for the clan), she ends up NOT be Let me start by saying that I think this book could be a lot longer. Currently, it's a very tightly written fantasy book, but I think it could be expanded into many more volume (I can see the current book being expanded into three volume). This isn't some criticism that important details were left out, it's just me wanting to read more. Fargoer revolves around Vierra. After a prophecy that either she or her cousin will lead their clan (with very different results for the clan), she ends up NOT being the leader. That was my first surprise, and from there on, Vierra's life took on different turns. She left her tribe (though not willingly) and underwent a lot of hardships. The book ends with, I think, the promise of a sequel. Each section of Vierra's life is described by a bunch of brief chapters. They are tied together, but at times, it feels like too much time has been skipped. Because Vierra's life is described in fleeting episodes, the only character that is fully developed is Vierra herself. The other characters simply don't get enough space. And that's why I wish this book was longer, I think given the chance, we could get a really interesting cast of characters. The world-building here is fantastic!It is, I think, set in Finland, long long ago. It's not a place that I'm familiar with, but the author has deftly managed to bring the place to life. To me, this is a interesting world where women are in charge, and people live in harmony with nature (and the spirits) - well, except the foreigners. Speaking of nature and its spirits, Vierra and her tribe have a few rituals. In these rituals, poetry is used. Can I mention how much I love the poetry? It's story-telling, and really broke me into the world of the Fargoer. Only one thing I don't understand - what does Fargoer mean? I know Vierra is the Fargoer, but I guess I missed the part where we were told what role she had. I heartily recommend this book. You're probably not me, so at 200 plus pages, you'll thing it's the perfect length (I love long books!). With it's unique background and choice of protagonist you'll definitely be hooked! Disclaimer: I got this book free from the author in exchange for a review. I was not obliged to give a positive review in any way. This review was first posted at Inside the mind of a Bibliophile

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hans Cummings

    I received a copy of this novel for review purposes. When I first heard "Finnish Fantasy," I was excited because I've been on a sort of Norse kick lately. I dropped the non-fiction book I was currently reading and dove right into Fargoer. For a translated book, I was pleasantly surprised how well almost everything was translated. Often, there are passages and idioms that get lost a bit in translation, and there were a few places where I initially scratched my head, but upon a second reading, I r I received a copy of this novel for review purposes. When I first heard "Finnish Fantasy," I was excited because I've been on a sort of Norse kick lately. I dropped the non-fiction book I was currently reading and dove right into Fargoer. For a translated book, I was pleasantly surprised how well almost everything was translated. Often, there are passages and idioms that get lost a bit in translation, and there were a few places where I initially scratched my head, but upon a second reading, I realized that my confusion came more from my reading speed than any problems with the translation. If I didn't know the novel was translated from Finnish, I would not have assumed it was a translation. The story is written almost as a collection of slice-of-life vignettes from the point of view of a woman of the Kainu tribe, Vierra. She's strong and stubborn to a fault, protective of the ones she loves. It starts as an almost textbook "Hero's Journey" story, but goes off those rails fairly quickly, and that's a good thing. There's nothing wrong with the heroic journey, but it's been done. Unfortunately, Vierra is the only character we really get to know very well. We're often introduced to characters important to Vierra and don't get to see her relationship grow with them before they're taken out of the story. This lack of development for the secondary and tertiary characters made it hard to feel anything for Vierra's many hardships, even though I did feel sorry for her that she had to endure so much. I wanted to see more of her relationship with her cousin. I wanted to learn more about the Kainu people. Some of these problem probably could've been alleviated with a longer narrative. Despite the story feeling rushed, I did enjoy it. I had sympathy for the main character and wanted to see her succeed. I am only tangentially familiar with Finnish myth and folklore, so I don't know how much of what I read was based in that, and how much was the author's original creation. I knew of Meilikki and the Great Hunt, Loviatar, & Illmater, the latter two of which are NOT in this story, but that's about it. I was intrigued by this world and would like to read more novels set there.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Set in the forests of Northern Europe, Fargoer: A Viking Age Tale describes the life of Vierra, a tribeswoman of the Kainu, beginning with her ascension into womanhood. While her own tribal society is matriarchal, she is pitted against both men and spirits as she progresses through the years to her ultimate destiny. This tale is delivered in an epic style, merging the mythologies of Scandinavia with fantasy, reminding me of stories from the spoken word traditions that place the main characters in Set in the forests of Northern Europe, Fargoer: A Viking Age Tale describes the life of Vierra, a tribeswoman of the Kainu, beginning with her ascension into womanhood. While her own tribal society is matriarchal, she is pitted against both men and spirits as she progresses through the years to her ultimate destiny. This tale is delivered in an epic style, merging the mythologies of Scandinavia with fantasy, reminding me of stories from the spoken word traditions that place the main characters in situations to test their strength and determination against powerful opposing forces. Constructed from a string of short stories, similar in style to Martian Chronicles by Bradbury, the novel leads us through the journey of Vierra, from her prepubescent years living with her chieftain aunt and cousin into the life of a quiet hunter, an outsider even among her own tribe. Throughout her life's trials and triumphs, we are introduced to a variety of spirit identities. We observe the rituals and rites of her people contrasted with those of the Vikings and other tribes who appear in the narrative. The work is sprinkled with poetic chants and songs. As I looked through other reviews of Fargoer, I noticed that some readers complained that the writing was boring, as if there was not enough action from page-to-page to evoke their interest. I found the opposite to be true, with almost every detail of this book drawing my attention, down to the very last description of the tribal huts. Action is important in any adventure: if the destination were the only purpose of writing, then there would be no point in telling a story at all. What is a story without setting a scene? - describing the landscape, the clothes, the homes of the characters. In between the bursts of exterior action, we need to dwell inside the characters thoughts, to see how the events affect their personalities, to understand how those actions affect us as the readers. To understand her destiny, Vierra must accept her actions and her own justification for each one. The reader is prompted to consider how he or she might handle those same events. This novel evenly disperses meaningful description of the tribal lands and traditions with the swift fighting action.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

    Said to draw heavily from native mythology, Fargoer is a work of fiction unlike most I’ve read. Set during a time when Vikings seizure was a harsh reality, this story follows Vierra (a Kainu tribe member) as she comes of age under the shadow of disappointing destiny. This future, prophesized during the womanhood ceremony she shares with her cousin, sets the stage for us to experience with Vierra many hardships and trials. However, many stories have these elements, and coming of age stories are n Said to draw heavily from native mythology, Fargoer is a work of fiction unlike most I’ve read. Set during a time when Vikings seizure was a harsh reality, this story follows Vierra (a Kainu tribe member) as she comes of age under the shadow of disappointing destiny. This future, prophesized during the womanhood ceremony she shares with her cousin, sets the stage for us to experience with Vierra many hardships and trials. However, many stories have these elements, and coming of age stories are not new. Several points differentiate this from the others. Fist, the weavings of fantasy and magic throughout the tale give Fargoer a more colorful backdrop. Also, the beautiful descriptions of native untouched Finland and the ways of life for these people bring the reader a deeper understanding of the Kainu people. Finally, the poetry and song utilized throughout the tale lend the storytelling a more authentic feel. As the story develops we are reminded of the destiny for told and subtly led to question if destiny controls us or is created by us. The writing is well done, with very few and minimal textual errors. The ones that are present are not glaring and may well be a result of translation. The characters have depth and the style and presentation of the story are engaging. One thing I was left wanting was a better visual of Vierra. The book describes her well, but an artistic rendering on the cover would be a welcome addition. By the end of the story Vierra had worked her way into my consciousness and I look forward to seeing what the rest of her story will bring. I would recommend this to those interested in Viking folklore, matriarchal societies, and those who enjoy stories of personal growth/transformation. Full disclosure: I have been provided a copy of the book for the purpose of providing a review; however the opinions presented are my own and not influenced or dictated by publisher or author. Also note, I have not researched the native traditions and myths referenced in this book and do not speak to either their validity or how closely the story may or may not follow suit.

  20. 4 out of 5

    E. Bard

    Fargoer is a remarkable fantasy taking place during a time when Vikings thrived and terrorized many different peoples across northern Europe. It is a compelling read that follows the life of a girl, Vierra, on her journey to adulthood. Her path is a difficult one and filled with many hardships, both physical and spiritual. At the beginning of the story, Vierra and her cousin Aure must endure an initiation into womanhood that involves a trek to a sacred lake and meeting with the Kainu people's Fi Fargoer is a remarkable fantasy taking place during a time when Vikings thrived and terrorized many different peoples across northern Europe. It is a compelling read that follows the life of a girl, Vierra, on her journey to adulthood. Her path is a difficult one and filled with many hardships, both physical and spiritual. At the beginning of the story, Vierra and her cousin Aure must endure an initiation into womanhood that involves a trek to a sacred lake and meeting with the Kainu people's First Mother. The outcome of the meeting will determine the girls' futures. Only one of the girls will become the next Chieftain and the two girls must fight to the death to determine who it will be. If Aure becomes Chieftain, the Kainu people will eventually fade away. If Vierra succeeds and becomes Chieftain, her people will suffer many hardships but survive. When Vierra chooses to spare her cousin from death, she alters fate and the two girls' futures are set in motion. Vierra is set on a path to become the Fargoer. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The writing style is enchanting and although there were a few places where some things were lost in translation (the odd missing article or wrong possessive adjectives) the overall effect isn't bothersome. Knowing the original tale is in Finnish, and the type of story it is just allows the rare mistake to add to the charm. Besides, the setting is fantastic. You can almost feel the old northern magic that haunts the pages as the story unfolds, taking the reader from place to place and experiencing enigmatic situations like encountering the grey mist people of the forest or the gigantic stone age men creatures. Just reading about the different peoples and how they live is a fascinating part of the novel. The character Vierra is part of a very unique culture, a type of hunter gatherer people who are infrequently encountered in legends and history. Overall it's an engrossing tale. I recommend it to readers who enjoy a good fantasy and are looking for something other than wizards and dragons.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tara Chevrestt

    This was very different from my usual reading material. I haven't read anything like this since my school days when I had to read mythology, folklore, stuff of that nature. I'm not the best judge, not having immersed myself in books such as this, but for folklore, I feel it's well done. It felt literary, which I believe it should be. I loved the beginning very much. I was immediately hooked and drawn into the story. Two girls entering womanhood, only one can be chieftain of their woman-dominated This was very different from my usual reading material. I haven't read anything like this since my school days when I had to read mythology, folklore, stuff of that nature. I'm not the best judge, not having immersed myself in books such as this, but for folklore, I feel it's well done. It felt literary, which I believe it should be. I loved the beginning very much. I was immediately hooked and drawn into the story. Two girls entering womanhood, only one can be chieftain of their woman-dominated clan. They're even pitted against each other. The survivor can be chieftain... Did I mention they are cousins? One becomes a chieftan, one becomes Fargoer. I loved the introduction into this woman-dominated society. I wanted more of it, their beliefs, their ways, how they live...but all too soon, the story took me away from them and threw me into the world of the Vikings--cruel bastards that enslave others and pillage and very nearly break the heroine. The book began to drag at that point, and there were some things I just did not understand or believe..such as a bunch of slaves...with ONE master...in three years, they never once manage to best him? At three against one? But...it makes for a good yarn. However, my quibble still stands. I would have loved this book a lot more had it stayed with the woman-dominated clan, delved deeper into that world. I also felt like I never got to know the heroine as much I wanted to, especially before all this bad stuff started happening to her. She's really very kick-ass and realistic--has strengths and weaknesses. The short story formatting of this (a few shorts in a novel), the jumping ahead many, many years and not really focusing on anything beyond the major moments of her life didn't do her justice. She's really very awesome. Full review: http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/2013/...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Samantha LaFantasie

    I've never read a story like this before. I was pulled in by the poem at the beginning. It was rich and vivid and kept me wanting to read more. But then the book slowed down heavily and had lost the charm the poems held. Yet, I was still curious about the story. It read very much like folklore. Parts were difficult to get through because of awkward phrasing, but I'm sure that's just because the book was translated. I think there could have been more thought put into this book. It jumps and skips I've never read a story like this before. I was pulled in by the poem at the beginning. It was rich and vivid and kept me wanting to read more. But then the book slowed down heavily and had lost the charm the poems held. Yet, I was still curious about the story. It read very much like folklore. Parts were difficult to get through because of awkward phrasing, but I'm sure that's just because the book was translated. I think there could have been more thought put into this book. It jumps and skips giant gaps of time that makes you have to figure out what happened in between. I'm a little disappointed in that. I would've liked to have gotten to know Vierra and get closer to her. She seemed like a character that had so much potential, but it felt as if she was an acquaintance for me and not really one that I cared overly about. I was told how she felt, rather than shown through much of the story. I also found it difficult to keep coming back to the book. Not that this wasn't an interesting story, but because it just wasn't my taste. I enjoy books that grab me and force me to keep reading. Again, I had never read a story like this before. I'm not a poetry guru, though my spouse writes plenty of it. So, I have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn't. If it can evoke a sense of emotion and paint a picture for me, then I'd think the poem had done its job. The ones woven through the story had to be the best part. Especially with how sporadic they were. With that in mind, I would have to say this is a good read for those who like the more folklory type stories that are basically a hodgepodge of shorter pieces placed together to form a whole. *NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review will also appear on Amazon and my personal site.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Katri Alatalo

    Kirja imaisi minut nopeasti sisälle tarinaan ja luin tämän nopeasti loppuun, lähes yhdeltä istumalta. Vierra on hahmona kiinnostava, ja nyt odotan kovasti, miten hän kehittyy jatkossa. Lukiessani mietin paljon tätä teoksen rakennetta. En ole ihan varma, pidinkö siitä vai en. Toisaalta lyhyet tarinat, joiden väleissä voi olla pitkiä harppauksia, tekevät kirjasta mukavan nopeatempoisen ja koukuttavan. Koko ajan tapahtuu, ja on jännittävää seurata, mitä ja ketä Vierra seuraavaksi kohtaa matkallaan. Kirja imaisi minut nopeasti sisälle tarinaan ja luin tämän nopeasti loppuun, lähes yhdeltä istumalta. Vierra on hahmona kiinnostava, ja nyt odotan kovasti, miten hän kehittyy jatkossa. Lukiessani mietin paljon tätä teoksen rakennetta. En ole ihan varma, pidinkö siitä vai en. Toisaalta lyhyet tarinat, joiden väleissä voi olla pitkiä harppauksia, tekevät kirjasta mukavan nopeatempoisen ja koukuttavan. Koko ajan tapahtuu, ja on jännittävää seurata, mitä ja ketä Vierra seuraavaksi kohtaa matkallaan. Toisaalta perinteinen romaanimuoto olisi ehkä antanut tilaa hiukan hitaammalle etenemiselle ja joidenkin asioiden syventämiselle. Suuretkin muutokset Vierran elämässä tulevat nyt aika nopeasti ja yllättäen. Muiden henkilöiden kohtalo voisi koskettaa lukijaa enemmän, jos heille annettaisiin hiukan lisää tilaa tulla lukijalle tutuiksi. Pohjoisen luonnon ja erämaan kuvaus on erittäin sujuvaa, sellaista että lukijana tuntee itsekin olevansa Vierran matkassa noissa maisemissa. Loppua kohti aloin kuitenkin toivoa, että luonnon kuvauksia olisi hiukan tiivistetty. Montako kertaa kirjassa kuvataan esimerkiksi aamun tai illan tuloa tai vuodenajan vaihtumista toiseen? Myös Vierran kuvauksessa on mielestäni vähän toisteisuutta, mikä johtuu ehkä siitä, että nämä on julkaistu alun perin erikseen. Suosikkini tarinoista oli ehkä se, jossa oli maaginen tammi pihan keskellä. Siinä on jotain kiehtovan mystistä, jota ei selitetä liikaa. Kokonaisuutena Kaukamoinen oli hyvin mukaansatempaava lukukokemus, ja aion varmasti hankkia itselleni myös tulevan jatko-osan!

  24. 4 out of 5

    L.F. Falconer

    A clever mix of history, legend, and the metaphysical realm of spirituality, "Fargoer" is a remarkable adventure surrounding the life of Viera, a strong woman broken, only to rebound ever stronger through her experience and compassionate heart. The book immediately draws the reader into a past world with its imagery and historic details beautifully rendered in a sophisticated yet simplistic style which only adds to the story's flavor. I only found a few disappointments with this book. All too oft A clever mix of history, legend, and the metaphysical realm of spirituality, "Fargoer" is a remarkable adventure surrounding the life of Viera, a strong woman broken, only to rebound ever stronger through her experience and compassionate heart. The book immediately draws the reader into a past world with its imagery and historic details beautifully rendered in a sophisticated yet simplistic style which only adds to the story's flavor. I only found a few disappointments with this book. All too often I felt I was being rushed along. I felt too many parts of the story were missing. I would have liked to have seen more expansion upon Viera's adolescence and her relationships with Aure and Rika, as well as her husband and son. These were highly important relationships in her life and to have explored them a little more deeply could only have served to develop Viera into a fuller, more well-rounded character. I also believe her character development could have benefitted still more if her time as a Viking slave had been expounded, rather than skimmed over as a mere summation--to show how such extreme circumstances could cause such a powerful woman to lose her will and her way. And when I finally reached the book's end, I sat back in sheer frustration because--yeah--I wanted more! I knew Viera's journey was far from over and I wasn't ready to stop reading about it. I anxiously await the continuation of this saga.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tywyll

    Fargoer follows the life of Vierra life from a young teenager entering womanhood and the joys and trials she faces in the years after. It is well-written and gives readers an interesting view into Finnish lore and history. I did not know the basis of the poetry in the novel as I read it, but thanks to a fellow reviewer, I plan to look into it. It was also interesting seeing how Vierra's tribe had women leaders and heads of houses; and then later shows the contrast and the clash of mentalities, a Fargoer follows the life of Vierra life from a young teenager entering womanhood and the joys and trials she faces in the years after. It is well-written and gives readers an interesting view into Finnish lore and history. I did not know the basis of the poetry in the novel as I read it, but thanks to a fellow reviewer, I plan to look into it. It was also interesting seeing how Vierra's tribe had women leaders and heads of houses; and then later shows the contrast and the clash of mentalities, a war of the two mindsets and ways, with the masculine reign of Vikings and other settlements encroaching on them. This book is more about the journey than the destination. I'm more used to reading fantasy where the main character has a clear-cut goal in mind, like saving the kingdom from the evil villain. Fargoer wasn't so defined. Vierra wandered or was dragged about, trying to find her place in the world. It seems Vierra may have found a purpose by the end of the novel; and as this is just the beginning of her story, it'll be interesting to see where destiny leads her next. Note: I received a free copy from the author for a fair and honest review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Basak

    Amazing book! What attracted me the most to Fargoer is the development of new and dynamic characters in each 'episode'. Besides the Finnish atmosphere that's spread throughout the book, the reader will experience new adventures with new characters and ups and downs. While reading the book, I couldn't help myself but become Vierra, the main character in the book, and discover myself in the journey through nature and of course through the beautiful landscape of the north. I really love how nature i Amazing book! What attracted me the most to Fargoer is the development of new and dynamic characters in each 'episode'. Besides the Finnish atmosphere that's spread throughout the book, the reader will experience new adventures with new characters and ups and downs. While reading the book, I couldn't help myself but become Vierra, the main character in the book, and discover myself in the journey through nature and of course through the beautiful landscape of the north. I really love how nature is explained beautifully in the book; the explanations are not too long but not too short either so the reader can expand the horizon of his/her imagination and this is another amazing highlight! I wish the book was longer but that's just my opinion :D There were lots of open-ends and this is of course a good thing; it keeps the reader wonder what will happen most of the times. Great story, great characters. A must-have for every nature/Finland/fantasy novel fan!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Larry B Gray

    Fargoer by Petteri Hannila is an action packed adventure and historical fiction. I found it hard to put down once I started reading. Originally translated from the Finnish novel "Kaukamoine," it is the story of the struggle of the native North American population and their early contact with the Vikings. The author did a great job of developing a storyline that was fast paced and full of plot twist. This easy to read and follow book stayed true to what few historical facts we have of that period. Fargoer by Petteri Hannila is an action packed adventure and historical fiction. I found it hard to put down once I started reading. Originally translated from the Finnish novel "Kaukamoine," it is the story of the struggle of the native North American population and their early contact with the Vikings. The author did a great job of developing a storyline that was fast paced and full of plot twist. This easy to read and follow book stayed true to what few historical facts we have of that period. I really like the way Petteri Hannilia developed his main characters. They were both very believable and easy to follow. This is one of those books where you find yourself holding your breath waiting to see what happens next to the heroine. Fargoer by Petteri Hannilia is an excellent book and I highly recommend this book to all readers. [Please note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.]

  28. 5 out of 5

    Suzanna Williams

    Fargoer is a special book. It transports the reader into a strange, violent world from another time and place. We follow the life of Vierra, initially a leader in a society where women are the dominant sex. Vierra is a great hunter but, after her son and husband are murdered by raiding Vikings, she is taken prisoner and so begins a long journey as she attempts to survive and return home. You will not be able to guess how this story is going to play out as it is completely original with a plot yo Fargoer is a special book. It transports the reader into a strange, violent world from another time and place. We follow the life of Vierra, initially a leader in a society where women are the dominant sex. Vierra is a great hunter but, after her son and husband are murdered by raiding Vikings, she is taken prisoner and so begins a long journey as she attempts to survive and return home. You will not be able to guess how this story is going to play out as it is completely original with a plot you will not be able to predict. Fargoer was written in Finnish and the translation gives it a unique, gentle lilt which adds to its authenticity and appeal. If you like adventures set in fantasy worlds, you will love Fargoer. An excellent debut novel set to become a classic from a very talented writer.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Arja

    Ehkä itselle tuli alussa liiaksi kalevalainen tunnelma kirjan nimestä ja pitkästä kalevalaistyylisestä runosta, toki se muuttui kun kirjan päähenkilö Vierra astui esiin. Alkuun myös häiritsi lauseissa olevat "nykyaikaiset" sanat kun tarina tavallaan sijoittui menneisyyteen... Pirteä veto päähenkilön naispuolisuus, todella hyvin kirjailijalla hallussa...vakuuttavasti kirjoitettu! Tapahtumat etenivät välillä todella vauhdikkaasti, juonikäänteitä oli paljon ja ne tapahtuivat nopeasti. Myös kirjoitu Ehkä itselle tuli alussa liiaksi kalevalainen tunnelma kirjan nimestä ja pitkästä kalevalaistyylisestä runosta, toki se muuttui kun kirjan päähenkilö Vierra astui esiin. Alkuun myös häiritsi lauseissa olevat "nykyaikaiset" sanat kun tarina tavallaan sijoittui menneisyyteen... Pirteä veto päähenkilön naispuolisuus, todella hyvin kirjailijalla hallussa...vakuuttavasti kirjoitettu! Tapahtumat etenivät välillä todella vauhdikkaasti, juonikäänteitä oli paljon ja ne tapahtuivat nopeasti. Myös kirjoitustyyli oli todella runsasta, joten se vaati lukijalta enemmän, ehkä kerronta olisi voinut olla välillä "löysempää" Erilainen kirja jossa elämän raadollisuus/valtataistelu nousi keskeiseksi teemaksi...hhmm löytyisikö yhtäläisyyksiä nyky-yhteiskunnasta?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jenni ☆

    Aluksi tarinaan oli jokseenkin hankala päästä kiinni ja tapahtumat etenivät hitaanlaisesti, loppua kohden kuitenkin parani. Kirjan maailma tuntuu huolellisesti rakennetulta ja hyvin mietityltä, mikä ehkä osaltaan tekee siitä niin mielenkiintoisen. Muinainen aika erilaisine tapoineen ja ihmisineen oli selvästi läsnä koko ajan. Kerrontatapa tuki tätä hyvin, joskin paikoitellen se tuntui hiukan liian raskaalta ja keskittymistä vaativalta. Henkilöhahmot tuntuivat jäävän turhankin etäisiksi, päähenki Aluksi tarinaan oli jokseenkin hankala päästä kiinni ja tapahtumat etenivät hitaanlaisesti, loppua kohden kuitenkin parani. Kirjan maailma tuntuu huolellisesti rakennetulta ja hyvin mietityltä, mikä ehkä osaltaan tekee siitä niin mielenkiintoisen. Muinainen aika erilaisine tapoineen ja ihmisineen oli selvästi läsnä koko ajan. Kerrontatapa tuki tätä hyvin, joskin paikoitellen se tuntui hiukan liian raskaalta ja keskittymistä vaativalta. Henkilöhahmot tuntuivat jäävän turhankin etäisiksi, päähenkilö Vierraa lukuunottamatta. Mukavaa vaihtelua toi tapa, jolla tarinaa kuljetetaan pitemmin aikaharppauksin lukujen vaihtuessa. Kuitenkin tästä jäi puuttumaan sitä kuuluisaa jotakin, joka saisi tarttumaan kirjaan innokkaasti uudelleen.

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