In 1360 AD, King Magnus Eirikson rules over a united Sweden and Norway—a Christian Scandinavia. Dark rumor has reached the king that the colonies in Greenland have fallen back into pagan ritual, along with an alarming report that the inhabitants of the Western Settlement have mysteriously disappeared, with farmsteads and churches left deserted.
Magnus entrusts Paul Knutson with a ship and forty strong men to make contact with Greenland and to verify the truth of these stories. Among these men are Olav Sigurdsson—a young man sailing to prove his bravery to the king and to reclaim his father’s lost honor—and Eirik the Laplander, deeply loyal to Olav’s family, but a pagan viewed with suspicion by the other Christian Scandinavians.
Upon confirming the disappearance of a whole settlement, Paul and his party follow a sparse trail of clues south across the seas toward “Vinland”—convinced that some of the colonists may still be alive. As the valiant band perseveres in the pursuit of answers for its king, going ever deeper south and westward into an unknown continent, Olav’s desire for justice for his father finally merges with the desire for success in their difficult quest.
The Door to the North is another stirring example of Elizabeth Coatsworth’s authentic and captivating historical storytelling.
Illustrated by Frederick T. Chapman