3.5-4 starsIt's a short novella, but it's packed with emotion. This is the story that we never knew until this "short" - the story that was hinted at, but never really told... about Jeanne, the kitchen maid and Eric, the captain of the guard. There were hints that Jeanne and Eric had been intimate, but Jeanne married Eymer - something never quite explained. This story explains it.In book 1, we know that Eymer was killed accompanying Danielle to free Malcolm from his evil half-brother and his evil magic. Now we learn even more heartbreak about how his death affected Jeanne. Without having to get into spoilers, essentially, Eymer did Jeanne a great honor and service; his only last wish was to be buried in the way of his Viking ancestors. That burial requires a journey to the ocean, to set what's left of Eymer on a small Viking ship, light it up with fire, and let it sail towards Valhalla. In this way, Eymer's soul can be free and go to Valhalla to join other Viking warriors who died honorable deaths in battle.But Eymer insists that Jeanne be accompanied and protected by Eric. Neither knows why, and each is still harboring hurt and secrets. Eric doesn't know why Jeanne rejected him and suddenly married Eymer; as a typical man, he only allowed his pride and feelings to be hurt, almost beyond repair, thinking that Jeanne preferred Eymer to him.During the journey, they realize that Eymer's last gift was to give them both this time together - to finally unburden the secrets, the hurt, the loss, and the pain... to rediscover one another.