Love historical romance? Well, you've come to the right place! This is a blog for avid readers (and authors) of historical romance.
I started it to help other readers find the good ones...the keepers. In addition to authors guest blogging, I will share my reviews of those I've rated 4 and 5 stars, my favorite authors, my "best" lists and occasionally a special post. Come join us!
Thursday, January 28, 2016
My Guest Today... Mairi Norris, Viking Romance Author
My guest today is author of Viking romance,
Màiri is a USN vet who lives in Virginia with her USCG retiree
husband and three cats (though her heart belongs to the Highlands of Scotland).
When she's not busy writing, Màiri loves to travel and make dollhouse
miniatures. She also adores reading, and discovered, at age six, a whole new
universe to explore through books – and made up her own stories, too. It was
always a ‘back-of-the-mind’ dream to put those stories on paper. Now she’s
living her dream.
She is a proud member of Romance Writers of America, Celtic Hearts
Romance Writers, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, Chesapeake Romance
Writers, Beau Monde and Clan Donald, USA.
Do comment onMàiri's post and leave an email as one lucky commenter will will her book, Viking Sword.
Viking Warrior Women? By Màiri Noris
From the Valkyrie Brunhild to Hevor the
Shield-Maiden, myth, legend and history give homage to ‘female warriors’ of
Viking culture. Who were they, then, these militant women who found their way
into the sagas, whose names have survived the ages, and were they the norm?
Those few about whom we know were called haughty, wise, valiant and vengeful,
but were Viking ladies all that dissimilar to women today?
The prevailing viewpoint of Norsemen is that of
ruthless warriors who lived only by savagery and warfare. It is true the world
of that day was a brutal place, but if one takes a close look at the societies
of those Northern cultures, one discovers they were no more savage than their
counterparts in the rest of the world.
Sigrid the Haughty and Olaf Tryggvason
The attitude of the men
toward women, in particular, was noteworthy for its nonviolence. The Vikings
cared about their women and treated them exceptionally well. The rights of
females in society were, in many ways, equal to that of the men. A Viking lady
was actually safer among her people than the modern woman.
To abuse a woman
physically was considered so low, so craven, a man who struck a woman lost his
“manhood” in the minds of other men (the worst thing that could happen to the
Viking male). Adultery was illegal because it was seen as a mistreatment of the
wife. A male family member or friend could legally seek the death of any man to
sought to force his attentions on a woman. Even verbal abuse was frowned upon
and women were allowed to respond in kind without fear of retribution.
This prohibition against
striking or hurting a female was so strong even the Sagas mention it,
recounting the tale of a man insulted and castigated by a passing group of
other men for hitting his wife with snowballs, and this while the couple were
merely at play!
Though both girls and boys
were given basic training in self-defense, only a handful of women ever became
‘shield-maidens’ and these were considered aberrations by their contemporaries.
Viking women did not need to be warriors, because it was a man’s responsibility
to protect the women in his life. If he failed, he had better make sure he died
Death of the shieldmaiden Hevor
While this careful
treatment of females did not always extend to foreign women, especially slaves,
it was not typical for males to mistreat any female. Rapes and beatings did
happen, but not to the extent depicted in books and movies today.
Viking women were
caregivers and homemakers - rarely involving themselves in battle or trade -
and were greatly honored as such. They were esteemed as being as strong, smart,
honorable and courageous as any of their menfolk. The very security of their
place in society assured their right to live much as they saw fit. Truly, if
one had to live in that difficult and dangerous time, it was no bad thing to be
born a Viking woman!
How about you? Would you want to be a Viking lady? One
lucky commenter will win Viking Sword: A Fall of
(reviewed in a separate post below).
killed her beloved husband.
former Saxon rebel Cynric of Wulfsinraed meets Ysabeau Maci, he knows he has
found the woman of his dreams. But even as he begins his determined pursuit of
the lovely Norman widow, his past abruptly returns to haunt him.
years earlier, in a raid by Saxon rebels, Ysabeau’s husband was killed by a
warrior with hate-filled emerald eyes. Cynric’s moss-green gaze reminds her of
that awful day. As she comes to know him, she cannot resist his gentle
smile or the thrill of his touch, but the feelings he arouses are increasingly
tinged with fear he may be the green-eyed warrior who destroyed her life.
uneasy relationship is further tested when Cynric’s best friend, Brunwulf of
Blackbridge, who shares Cynric’s rebel past, flees to him for sanctuary with
his betrothed, Heagyth of Jorvick. Hard on their heels is a troop of Norman
warriors intent on capturing them to face the judgment of King William.
suspicions, Heagyth’s flight from Norman justice and Brunwulf’s involvement in
the assassination of a powerful Norman bishop force Cynric’s hidden past into
the open. The resulting conflict threatens to rip their world apart before they
can build the new lives they covet.