Reading like a novel, instead of your standard historical nonfiction, Empire of Ice and Stone caught me with ice hooks and dragged me under from the first page. Between my grad school texts, introducing three cats to each other, and trying to have a life, it’s still been difficult to put this book down.
The expedition of the wooden-hulled brigantine Karluk departed Canada for the Arctic Ocean in the summer of 1913, with Captain Bob Bartlett at the helm, the world’s leading ice navigator at the time. After a catastrophic shipwreck, the journey shifts from exploring the Great North to surviving the bitter ice in the Arctic Sea as Bartlett sets out on a 1000-mile journey to save them all.
I’ve always been fascinated by the cold north, even if I haven’t wanted to deal with frostbite and gangrene myself, so true accounts of Captain Bob Bartlett and the crew of the Kartluk and other ships in this gripping tale have satisfied an urge I’ve been loath to indulge.
If you’ve ever read anything by Clive Cussler (think Dirk Pitt adventures and the movie Sahara starring Matthew Mcconaughey), you know the vibe this real-life adventurers’ tale provides. And the fact that it’s a true story makes it all the more exciting and breath-taking.
From the visionary leader, flamboyant and irritating at times, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, to the grumbling crew who forged ahead despite the dangers, the losses, and the shipwrecks, you’ll be held captive as I was, by the retelling of their incredible tale of scientific exploration, survival, and personal courage.
There are some dark details, of course, and some grown-up details and language, but it seems like a suitable book for teens and adults alike, as long as the readers can handle some vivid medical details about things like gangrene and frostbite.
I highly recommend reading this fantastic book, Empire of Ice and Stone, by Buddy Levy when it releases December 6, 2022.
Need more reads? Check out other reviews for action-packed tales.
Editor-in-Chief of The MockingOwl Roost, Rita Mock-Pike is the granddaughter of aviatrix, Jerrie Mock, first woman to pilot an airplane solo around the world. Rita has found inspiration from her grandmother’s life and flight and pursued many of her own dreams in theatre, podcasting, novel writing, and cooking up delicious food from around the world. She now writes on food, travel, pets, faith, and the arts. She’s happily married to Matt, and faithfully serves the very fluffy kitten queen, Lady Stardust.