Tuesday, January 6, 2015
New Review: Nadine Crenshaw’s VIKING GOLD - The Gold Standard of Viking Romances!
A Norwegian princess, Aasa, the only daughter of Harold, a wealthy king, is 17 when the story opens. While promised to another, she meets Olaf, the son of a ruthless Viking lord who would kill Aasa’s father and brother and take her for his own. Olaf, sent to ask for Aasa’s hand for his father, falls in love with Aasa when he first sees her—and she with him. Aasa’s brother, discovering the two are lovers, separates them and sends Olaf and his ship back to the sea.
Olaf experiences first a violent storm and then an attack of pirates that leaves him gravely wounded. He recovers slowly. Meanwhile, Aasa has been taken by Olaf’s father in a brutal Viking raid where everyone she loved was killed and her home burned. Believing Olaf is dead, Aasa becomes the unwilling bride and queen of Olaf’s father whom she loathes. She lives for revenge. She has a son, Halfdan (likely patterned after the real person, Halfdan the Black, the 9th century king of Vestfold and father of Harald I of Norway, the great unifier who lived from 850 to 933).
Crenshaw paints a vivid picture of Viking life and weaves an enthralling story that will keep you up late reading at night. I could hardly stand to put it down. Olaf is a wonderful hero, a strong Viking warrior with a softer side, who freely declares his love for Aasa. Aasa is at first a young maiden with few cares and a family that loves her. Then she becomes a woman with Olaf. Suddenly ripped away from all she loves, she becomes a strong and defiant queen of a man she hates, definitely a worthy heroine. The unrequited love experienced by Olaf and Aasa will tear your heart out. I thought these two would NEVER get together.
Crenshaw does not spare us the violence of the times, the hardships people at all levels endured nor the pagan rituals. But that is all a part of the rich tapestry she weaves so well. Written in 1995, this romance is as engaging as any you’ll read written today. I highly recommend this one for you Viking romance lovers!