Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for Empire of Ice and Stone:
The lesson, as always, is don’t go to the Arctic.
The story of the Karluk, which was shipwrecked in the Arctic and the crew’s attempts to survive.
Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like:
Friendly reminder that many of the events in the Arctic take place at temperatures around -50 degrees or lower.
Fun Fact for History Nerds:
The leader of this expedition called the Arctic, “a friendly and forgiving place,” in case you needed to know why this went so wrong.
My Take on Empire of Ice and Stone:
Buddy Levy has gone and done it again. He took a story I already knew and wrote a book I couldn’t put down.
Empire of Ice and Stone is another great entry into the genre of Arctic exploration and adventure. The story revolves around the crew of the Karluk which is one of multiple ships put together for exploration by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. You will quickly learn not to like him. However, the captain of the Karluk, Bob Bartlett, will quickly become one of your favorite people. As with most Arctic exploration, things go horribly wrong. I won’t spoil it any further.
This book is another example of what makes Buddy Levy such a great author. The book is thorough, but tightly focused on the men (and women!) of the expedition. Levy’s eye for what you need to know keeps all of the extraneous information out. What’s left is an adventure that focuses on people, which is what makes it so engaging.
And then what happens is you stay up too late on a weeknight because you don’t want to stop reading. At least that is still better than being marooned on a giant ice floe.
(This book was provided as an advance copy by Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press.
A great book. Read it. Buy it here!
If You Liked This Try:
- Buddy Levy, Labyrinth of Ice
- David Welky, A Wretched and Precarious Situation
- Julian Sancton, Madhouse at the End of the Earth