Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Catherine Coulter’s LORD OF RAVEN’S PEAK – Intriguing Viking Tale with a heroine who is a Skald, a teller of stories

This is the third in Coulter’s Viking series and the second in her Viking trilogy. As with the others, it’s a good one. And, it’s rather unique. The heroine is a skald (a storyteller), so there are stories within the story and very cleverly done, too. I admire Coulter’s ability to do that so smoothly. She gives us a feeling for how important storytelling was to the Viking culture while weaving it into an intricate plot and a great romance. I loved it.

Set in 916, beginning in Kiev (and thence to Norway and Normandy), this is the story of Merrik Haraldsson (younger brother to Rorik from Lord of Hawkfell Island), a Viking who stops at the slave market to buy his mother a woman to help with the weaving. What he gets instead are two young boys he saves from a fate worse than death. And, as it turns out, one of the boys is actually a girl—18-year-old Lauren. A girl with beautiful breasts and a sharp tongue—and a mysterious past she won’t speak of.

Lauren has some ability as a skald, a teller of stories, and holds Merrik and his men spellbound with her tales. Lauren’s purpose is to gain their silver to buy her freedom and that of her younger brother, Taby. The two of them were abducted from her home and sold into slavery two years ago and they have barely survived. Merrik finds her enchanting, no matter her red hair and her skinny body (from near starvation) and he loves Taby and has no intention of letting him go.

Richly drawn characters and meticulous research are blended with the Viking culture, treachery, murder, cruelty and lust—a superb job. It’s going on my best Viking Romances list along with the others in the series I’ve read. I recommend it!

The Viking Series:

Season of the Sun (Related but not a part of the Trilogy)
Lord of Hawkfell Island
Lord of Raven's Peak
Lord of Falcon Ridge

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