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The Whale Road – Book Review

24 October 2016

I am a fan of historical fiction, having enjoyed various historical settings by Bernard Cornwell, C.S. Forester,  and more recently Conn Iggulden. I also always had a fondness for the 1978 movie the Norseman as a child. However, Cornwell and Iggulden weren’t putting out books at the rate I was reading them, so when I saw The Whale Road, by Robert Low, a Viking tale, I dipped a cautious toe into the series featuring the “Oathsworn”, a band of roving Viking warriors.

I’m glad that I did, Low was the start of a number of historical writers I have since enjoyed. Low brings a gritty, fresh, voice to his writing, that feels like an authentic saga, using descriptive phrases that feel foreign to my thinking but ring with a distinction that feels accurate for the characters’ experiences.

The story is told through the eyes of young Orm “Bear-slayer” Rorikson, the son of the shipmaster of the Oathsworn of Einar the Black, a feared Viking band. Orm gets drawn into an adventure saga, on the hunt for the fabled burial hoard of Attila the Hun.

The action is relentless, the only character you feel comfortable will survive being Orm, the narrator. The character’s are vividly drawn even though often only fleeting with the short live span of the Viking warriors in the Oathsworn crew.

Characters : 9 / 10

Plot: 8 / 10

Action: 9 / 10

Gripping: 7 / 10

General: 9 / 10

Total: 92%

From → Books, My ramblings

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