The Viking Legal Team in Action

The Viking Legal Team in Action
Snorri is unhappy about your bar tab - VERY unhappy...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

More Viking inspiration: "Sword Song" by Rosemary Sutcliff

This is a very fine book.  It is readily available thru Amazon or your local library where it may dwell in the young adult section.  It is nearly 300 pages and a masterpiece of understatement, authentic voice and authentic characters, and quite adult in its subtleties.  Perhaps teens and young adults won't get all of it, but most adult readers will.  


The limited third-person narrative is from the viewpoint of the main character, a young man who commits manslaughter and is banished from his home into the greater Viking world for five years.  There is growth and purpose in the tale, and the dignity of the characters is respected.

Some of the best things about it are what is NOT included.  There is no clever juvenile humor at the expense of the characters, nor is there nod'n a wink laughs with our knowledge of history being greater than theirs.  There are no anachronistic remarks by the characters or the narrative voice, or judgmental remarks upon people who live in a different time and place and with different limitations than we have.  There's no re-writing of history attempted, and no perceivable modern bias by the author.  All these faults are very prevalent in modern authors like Bernard Cornwell who epitomizes all that is bad in modern historical writing.

In short, you feel like you're hearing a Norse saga  or a story told by a Viking fire, and that's often the best inspiration of all.  Plenty more commentary and reviews at Amazon, but certainly get it from the library as you've nothing to lose!


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