Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Mairi Norris’ VIKING SWORD: THE STRANDED ONE - Viking Trek Across 9th century England

Set in the Kingdom of Wessex, England in 882, this is the story of Brandr Óttarrson, a Viking jarl’s son who attacks a Saxon village only to be sent fleeing with his men by another band of Saxons who decimate the village. Among the ashes, a wounded Brandr discovers a Saxon maiden, Lissa of Yriclea, the sole survivor. He thinks to give her a merciful death but she persuades him to take her with him and his uncle as they leave. On the condition she becomes his thrall (slave).

His ship having left without him, Brandr and his uncle must journey across England, avoiding those who would kill them, including a Saxon who hunts for Lissa. As they travel, they pick up others along the way.

Norris does a wonderful job of bringing the reader into the Viking mind. It is obvious she has done much research to capture the speech, their way of thinking and their culture. Brandr, being the son of a jarl, must marry nobility, not a thrall. But he can make Lissa his concubine, and he wants her. Lissa, sees this as a possibility and she wants to remain with Brandr but not as his concubine. Secondary characters add to the complexity of what is otherwise a simple but very well told story of a trek across England to reunite Brandr with his family.

A worthy Viking tale with authentic terms (there is a detailed glossary). The first in the Viking Brothers Saga. I recommend it.

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