09 July 2011

More Viking Reading

Like me, I know you guys are always interested in reading more tales of Dark Age adventure.  I haven't read these yet, but I'll let you know what they are like once I have - unless anybody else can offer an opinion or comment on these?

 Harald Hardrada: The Warrior's Way

Raven: Blood Eye

 by Giles Kristian (Author)

For two years Osric has lived a simple life, apprentice to the mute old carpenter who took him in when others would have him cast out. But when Norsemen from across the sea burn his village they also destroy his new life, and Osric finds himself a prisoner of these warriors. Their chief, Sigurd the Lucky, believes the Norns have woven this strange boy's fate together with his own, and Osric begins to sense glorious purpose among this Fellowship of warriors.Immersed in the Norsemen's world and driven by their lust for adventure, Osric proves a natural warrior and forges a blood bond with Sigurd, who renames him Raven. But the Norsemen's world is a savage one, where loyalty is often repaid in blood and where a young man must become a killer to survive. When the Fellowship faces annihilation from ealdorman Ealdred of Wessex, Raven chooses a bloody and dangerous path, accepting the mission of raiding deep into hostile lands to steal a holy book from Coenwolf, King of Mercia. There he will find much more than the Holy Gospels of St Jerome. He will find Cynethryth, an English girl with a soul to match his own. And he will find betrayal at the hands of cruel men, some of whom he regarded as friends...

From the Author
In A.D. 793 a flotilla of sleek longships sailed out of a storm and onto the windswept beach at the Holy Island of Lindesfarne, off England's north-east coast. The marauders who leapt from these grim-prowed craft sacked the monastery there, slaughtering its monks in what was seen as a strike against civilization itself. This event marks the dawn of the Viking age, an age in which adventurous, ambitious heathens surged from their Scandinavian homelands to raid and trade along the coasts of Europe. Fellowships of warriors, bound by honour and wanderlust, would reach as far as Newfoundland and Baghdad, the sword-song of their battles ringing out in Africa and the Arctic. They were nobles and outcasts, pirates, pioneers and great seafarers. They were the Norsemen.
Being half Norwegian and spending so much time in the fjords, I have always known I would write a Viking novel. As a child, I would look out across the water, letting my imagination summon the image of a dragon-prowed longboat rowed by grizzled, bearded men. I could, if I really concentrated, hear the sound of oars dipping in unison into the sea. I still do it even now! I imagine families standing on the smooth rocks of the shore, waving their menfolk off. I feel the fear knotting in the men's stomachs as they set off in open boats across the North Sea. I feel the prickle excitement beneath my skin.
In the summer of 2004 I scribbled down the first words: 'I do not know where I was born. When I was young, I would sometimes dream of great rock walls rising from the sea so high that the sun's warmth never hit the cold, black water....I know nothing of my childhood, of my parents, or if I had brothers and sisters. I do not even know my birth name.' I think this opening was a deliberate attempt to venture beyond my own reality, seeing as I come from a very close, firmly-rooted family. Osric (later Raven) is shunned by society because he is different. He is an outcast. My life may be a little unconventional, but I would like to think I am not entirely outcast!
Much about the novel changed over the two years of writing, but those opening lines made it all the way, and I'm glad about that.
From then on, I just tried to write the sort of book I would want to read, full of battles and adventure, but one which also delves into the mind of a young man thrust into a strange new world. I hope I have succeeded. The book was certainly a lot of fun to write.
Giles Kristian.

About the Author
Giles Kristian has been the lead singer in a successful boyband, a model and a copywriter for an advertising agency. Raven is his debut novel and he is currently hard at work writing the follow up. He is of Norwegian and English descent and divides his time between London and New York.


by Laurence J. Brown (Author)
It is 1066 and the storm clouds are gathering over England. Beyond the channel Duke William of Normandy prepares his great invasion. Far to the north Harald Hardraada, the warrior King of Norway, laya claim to the English throne. Caught between the two Harold Godwineson, the embattled English King, enlists the aid of his personal champion, Ranulf Redbeard to recruit man for his elite Housecarl regiment.

About the Author
Laurence J. Brown is a partner in the law firm Morley, Brown & Co. and specialises in personal injuries. He lectures on the subject to other lawyers and barristers. He also talks on law and history to Women's Institutes, Probus clubs and church wives' groups. His interest in history decided him to write his first historical novel, Housecarl, which is on sale throughout the United Kingdom and now also the United States, Canada, Australia and South Africa. Several film companies are showing an interest in the film rights. He is working on a sequel, which he is hoping to have published later in 2004.
He shares Paul Mould's interest in the cinema and sees the best of the new releases but he naturally prefers historical epics. His writing style makes a book easy to read but hard to put down. His description of battles places the reader in the middle of the action, almost smelling the stench of sweat and blood.

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