Imagine its the 1940s in a land that’s been considered almost untouched by time. Greenland, after the occupation of Denmark by Nazi Germany, is forced to become self-reliant and bring itself to the world stage. After centuries of colonialism, Greenland had been forced into restrictive trading agreements with Denmark that hindered the Greenlanders that occupied the large island that was better known for its large ice sheets rather that the beauty that it really held.
Greenlandic teenager Qila has been close to her friend, Malik, for as long as she could remember. The youngest child with several older brothers, snarky, inquisitive Qila learned how to hunt on the ice and in the waters from a young age. As she grows older, however, her mother has started to hold her back and her father states she’s too old to come along for a generally male activity.
Malik, her quieter, calmer friend, doesn’t like hunting. He and Qila typically sneak out at nights into a kayak to weave in and out of glaciers and hunt for seals and whale, or further inland for reindeer. Life for them would’ve remained perfect if they kept their secret hunts as Qila in the lead and Malik as the companion.
But the war changed things. Greenland had to defend itself. Even with help from America, it wasn’t enough. A small force was created to defend the Eastern coast, to keep an eye out for a German landing. Malik, more confident with the academic then the physical, still finds himself signing up in an attempt to prove himself and assure his family that he really was a ‘man’. He ends up leaving Qila alone, worried for his safety and bored with little to do and no friends to hunt with.
The world gets colder in the following months. It isn’t unusual, but something felt sinister about it. The days grow shorter like they’re supposed to, ice covers the landscape, Qila pulls up her hood a bit more. And one day, while she’s staring out at the water, a raven bursts from the depths screeching about approaching darkness and storms. Once he realizes that a human is listening to her, the raven freezes, and lets out a nervous squeak.
Qila forces information out of the raven, who she soon names Prunaq—or duck fat—and discovers that the gods of her people are angry for being forgotten and ignored. Instead of facing them, Qila sets out across the land of Greenland to find her friend, and to save him.