On Hist Fic Saturday let's go back in time
to the story of the last Viking, Harald Hardrada...
7 September 2017
In 1035, a young fifteen year old Viking is dragged wounded from the battle. Left for dead, for the next twenty years his adventures lead him over mountains, down the length of Russia and ultimately to Constantinople and the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Drawn into political intrigue he will be the lover of Empresses, the murderer of an emperor; he will hold the balance of power in the Byzantine Empire in his hands, and then give it all up for a Russian princess and the chance to return home and lead his own people, where he must fight the demons of his past, his family and his countrymen in a long and bitter war for revenge and power.
My thoughts about it...
It's always interesting to have another perspective on the events that happened in that momentous year of 1066, when England faced the threat of invasion, not just from across the English Channel in Normandy, but also, from the far north, by the fearless warrior, Harald Hardrada, King of Norway.
Viking Fire charts the life of Harald Sigurdsson, younger brother of Olaf, King of Norway, from his early roots, through to the magnificence of his later years, and tells of his search for revenge, and lust for power. To say that Harald lived a fascinating life is an understatement and as this novel shows, life around this Viking warrior was never dull, nor lacking in adventure.
Bringing this fierce and ferocious time to vivid life, the author gives us a fascinating insight into what Harald's life may have been like and with meticulous research and fine attention, to even the smallest of details, combines known factual history with well written fiction, and cleverly blends both into a really good historical adventure.
Having my own preconceptions of Hardrada’s known ruthlessness and brutality, I didn't expect to actually like the man, but all credit to the author, who created such a vivid picture of this Viking warrior, that my dislike, turned into a grudging respect for a man who, driven by his principles, set his sight on the ultimate prize, that of England’s crown.
Viking Fire is the second book in this author's fascinating Conquest Trilogy which began with the story of Harold Godwinsson, in Shieldwall, and which continues in this story up to and including Hardrada's death at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in September, 1066.
If the Conquest years are of interest to you and you enjoy well written and gripping historical adventure then this series is a good place to start. As with any trilogy it's best to start at the beginning however, each of these books can be read as standalone novels.
More about the author can be found on his website by clicking here
Follow on Twitter @JHillAuthor #VikingFire
My thanks to the publishers for my review copy of Viking Fire