Sunday, 4 December 2016

Excerpt from John Snow's next book

Read the two first chapters in my next book!

The chapters are drafts, and I don't know the title of the book yet, but it begins where the last book ends: in Queen Gunnhild's bed chamber.

In the previous book, The Bitch Queen, Sigve the Awful defeated a very fearsome adversary, but he had to pay a high price; in the new book, he has sworn allegiance to King Harald Greycloak of Norway, an old enemy, and the king's mother, Queen Gunnhild, abuses Sigve.

War is building in Denmark, and when King Greycloak is dragged into the conflict, Sigve seeks to take advantage of the situation and get out of his thralldom. He still wears his rune sword, and he gets help from Life, the king's subdued lover thrall.

History and myth, love and action in John Snow's next book
History and myth, love and action in John Snow's next book


I could kill for those hands, Sigve thought.
  Sigve the Awful watched Life, the woman tending his cuts. She had rinsed the scars at his shoulders and turned to fetch a bowl of soothing ointment. The wound-washing had hurt, but Life’s fingers had lessened the pain, and the salve would relieve the ache even more. It was not the first time Life treated his cuts.
  They sat on a bench in the small nursing house. A fire was burning in a pit on the floor, and a tiny beam of light swept down from the smoke vent. On a timber along the bench, two oil-lamps were set up to help Life in her treatment. In times of war, the sickroom could be packed with wounded warriors, but today they were all alone.
  Half in secret, Sigve studied Life. Her hair was bundled up and pinned with a bone stick; it was shining black, and usually it hung down her back. Life was a healer, not very tall or slim; she was small and oozing of woman. Her hands were warm, and turning to Sigve, she used the tip of her fingers to stroke his shoulders, preparing to rub salve into the cuts. When she turned towards him, Sigve caught her eyes; they were almond-shaped, dark, and sad.
  “You’ve grown stronger,” Life said. Steering clear of the wounds, her fingers rubbed his bulging muscles.
  “Yes,” he answered.

  For more than a year, Sigve had been sworn into the hird of King Harald Greycloak. He had grown muscles rowing up and down the coast, collecting taxes and chasing vikings. When not rowing, he had been training with the rest of the king’s guard. They practiced sword and spear, shield-wall, and boarding of ships. Thor Blackhead, their captain-of-arms, was a relentless leader. The first moons Sigve had been so battered at night he had had trouble falling asleep.
  The days of the hird had been hard, but Sigve had endured, moons had passed, and he got used to the life of fulltime warriors; his hands callused and his muscles hardened, and during the winter he had beaten many comrades in arm-wrestling and glima, their favourite sports. Sigve had a natural talent for fighting; he excelled in sword-play, but he still learned new feints and strokes, especially in real battle.

  Beside the bench in the sickroom, Life had placed a hewn table, and on the table, lay knives, pouches of herbs, and a pile of clean rugs. In between bowls and cups, two magic sticks lay at the ready, and over the fire pit hung a big cauldron. Using a wooden ladle, Life had filled an empty bowl with hot water and placed it on the table.

  Thrice on board the king’s ships, Sigve had fought raiding vikings, and every time the reavers had been killed to the last man. The king’s orders were clear, and Sigve had learned to kill swiftly.
  On a voyage north to Lade, the king himself had spotted a heavy-loaded sea-farer, a knorr, against the horizon. The king had approached the knorr with three longships, and the men on board the trader had yielded without a fight when they realized they had met King Harald’s hird. The Irish traders and seamen had asked for quarters, for grid, but King Greycloak had been furious when he discovered their goods were from Bjarmiland. The knorr was loaded with barrels of oil, ropes of walrus hide, tusk, and big bundles of pelts from ice-fox and white bear, every item a fortune in itself.
  The Bjarmi-trade belonged to the Norwegian king, to Harald, and the king grew wilder the more he saw of the costly wares. The knorr’s crew – twenty men in all – were chased ashore on a small island, stripped naked to the skin, beaten, and whipped. Full of blood they were forced on their knees and raped by every one of Harald’s hird. Debased and disgraced and full of blood and sperm, the traders were tied and lined up, and the king’s men had ripped off their fingers, members, and balls; slowly the captives had all died in a fit of violence. Sigve had never seen such cruelty.
  Only one man was spared.
  “We’ll patch him up and send him to Dublin,” the king had said.

  During the slaughter, the screaming and the stench of shit had made Sigve sick, but he believed he could be used to the ways of the hird. What he could never get used to was the treatment he received from King Harald’s mother, Queen Gunnhild.
  In the sickroom, Life moved one of the lamps to better see Sigve’s wounds on his shoulders; she fetched a small bowl from the table.
  “The queen has long nails,” she said, rubbing salve into a scar.
  Sigve nodded. The queen’s nails had dug deep into his muscles.
  “What do you do to her?”
  “You must do something…”
  “I fuck her, that’s all.”

  Life had asked the same question many times, but Sigve was reluctant to talk about his meetings with the king’s mother, who everyone called queen. Once a month he was invited to Gunnhild’s hall half a day’s rowing south of the king’s farm. It had been part of the deal when Sigve swore fealty to King Harald Greycloak. When he had come to offer his loyalty, he had first stopped at Queen Gunnhild’s farm on his way to the king at Avaldsnes.
  He had known the queen had a bad reputation. She was called The Bitch Queen. She had been married to King Eirik Bloodaxe, father of Harald. The queen was a cunning woman, a practitioner of seid, and, according to rumours, after Eirik’s death, she had developed an insatiable appetite for men. Many claimed Queen Gunnhild likened Hel, the goddess of death, whose face had two halves, one fresh and inviting, the other rotten and decaying.

  His friends had warned him against her, but the queen exerted great power over her son; some said the country was ruled by the king’s mother’s cunt. For Sigve, satisfying the queen had been vital for his intention to win the king’s trust.
  So, he had taken his chances, and the queen had received him in her hall. Sitting in her seat of honour, the queen had been dark and beautiful and rather small, looking much younger than Sigve had expected. Smiling, she had invited him to her chamber.
  She had preferred to make love in the dark with only a small candle burning on a beam, but Sigve had known what to do. When he had played with Yljali, his first lover, she had taught him to hold back – and how to wait, how to push, and how to force. He had learned where to use his tongue – and the queen had loved it.
  When he left Utstein, Queen Gunnhild said she wanted more, and Sigve hadn’t refused when King Harald asked him to visit his mother from time to time.

  In the nursing room, Life treated his shoulder-wounds. Her fingers gently opened a slit and applied ointment along the edges. The cuts were still fresh, Sigve had just arrived form a meeting with Gunnhild.
  “The cuts are too deep to be rinsed properly, hopefully the herbs will help,” she said. Her touch to his sore shoulder was so light it set Sigve musing the difference between Life and Queen Gunnhild.

  In the beginning the queen had shown him her good side, and Sigve had enjoyed their meetings. In the dark, among the furs in her bed, he had taken her hard and long, and the queen had screamed and jerked. He had taken her again, and next morning they continued throughout the day. It was only on his third visit that she started to scratch his back.
  The visit had started as usual. Sigve had greeted the queen and sat down by a guest table not far from the women’s table, where the queen reigned.
  A southern girl served him bjor and a cake with green stripes of hemp in it. Gunnhild’s hall was a woman’s room with carved posts and colourful tapestries depicting Freya, the goddess of love. The bjor was brewed with mind-bending herbs, and when Sigve drank, he got stone and dizzy. The carvings on the posts turned into mating snakes – so near him he could touch their slithering skin. All around, wall hangings came very much alive. The tapestries showed pictures of Freya’s love life; her meetings with all kinds of males: with men, gods, dogs, and bulls – and with Frey, her brother.

  In her chamber, he had entered the queen, and his mind had crept into his bursting manhood. He had felt the inside of Queen Gunnhild. For a long time, he was both his own cock and Queen Gunnhild’s cunt – or rather Freya’s cunt when she was taken by her brother. Then it suddenly changed; he was Frey taking Freya – and then again himself fucking the extremely lascivious queen.
  Next morning, Gunnhild had more bjor brought into the chamber, and during the day, their love-making turned wilder. The queen wanted Sigve to take her harder, and when he did, she clung to him. With her nails, she scratched his back in some weird kind of satisfaction.
  On his next visits, she got worse. On the second day – it was always on the second day – the queen had demanded he took her more directly, more brutally, and the harder he took her, the harder she held on to his body. With strong legs, she locked him in a tight embrace and dug her nails into his shoulders.

  After several bloody visits, Sigve had spoken to the king and asked him to be released from this particular duty, but King Harald had recoiled and said that his mother should have her will in the matter.
  “But I’ll send you Queen Life. She will tend to your scratches.”

  Life was King Harald’s woman and pet. She had been captured on a trading voyage among walrus hunters in the far north, and the king had demanded people called her Queen Life.
  From birth, Life had had warm hands. In her tribe, she had been trained as a healer. When she arrived at the king’s farm, Gunnhild had continued Life’s training. Whenever Queen Gunnhild visited her son at Avaldsnes, she taught her the Norse language, the names of local herbs, poems of healing, and even galdr, a powerful kind of seid.
  When Life had started to nurse him in the healing house, Sigve realized why Gunnhild had shown such interest in Life’s education.

  On the bench in the sickroom, Life finished rubbing the cuts in Sigve’s shoulder. On the beam, one of the wicks flickered out, and Life fetched more lamp oil. She also got a new bowl of hot water from the fire pit.
  Sigve’s back was covered in dried blood, and the queen’s nails had left deep gouges at both side of his spine. Life counted eight long claw marks. Dipping one cloth in hot water and another in a bowl of decoction, she prepared to wash his skin.
  “She didn’t bite you this time,” Life said.
  Pure luck, Sigve thought. We never got to that.

  This time, on the second day of their lovemaking – with Sigve’ using his tongue – a man had knocked on the door.
  “Keep away!” the queen had shouted, but the door had been opened slightly, and the captain-of-arms had spoken through the crack.
  “The Danes have arrived,” he said.
  “The Danes!” The queen pushed Sigve’s head away and sat up in the bed.
  “Are they here?”
  “No, they sailed to the king at Avaldsnes.”
  “Directly to my son!”
  Queen Gunnhild was furious; she told the captain-of-arms to make ready a fast-rowed faering.
  “Send three men to Avaldsnes,” she said. “I want to know every word said in the king’s hall.”
  “And you,” she had pointed at Sigve; “will follow the faering.

  Sigve had dressed, pulling on his tunic and trousers and donning his cloak. He hadn’t had time to wash, so his back was bloody, and his face was reeking of cunt when he sat down in the rowboat. The four men were lucky; their rowing was helped by a southern wind. A square-sail made their trip to Karmey both fast and easy. But on his thwart, Sigve’s wounds had started to ache.
  The rowers had landed at Avaldsnes, and Sigve was led aside by the king. He had seen how Sigve was walking; stiff and with his legs wide apart. The king told Sigve to go directly to the nursing house.
  “I will send Queen Life to patch you up, and you have better fresh up quickly” the king had said.
  “The Danes have come, and I may soon have use for you.”


The nursing house lay at the outskirts of the king’s farm, beyond the hird’s quarters. It was smaller than the barracks, and the barracks and the other buildings were dwarfed by the hall. The king’s hall rose huge on a ridge, overlooking the Karm strait.
  Inside the sickroom, Life finished tending to the gouges down Sigve’s back. She bid him undress and lie on the bench. The wide bench was turned into a bunk and made with layers of rugs and spread with a clean sheet of linen. Life fed the fire with logs and looked over the remedies she had lain out on a small table. Among her herbs and bowls were sticks with strangely formed runes.

  Taking off his trousers, Sigve lay down on the bunk, careful not to hurt his back. He had no nail-marks on his breast, but his balls were sore and swollen.
  Life fetched a cup of soothing liniment. She said it was nothing she could do with his aching pouch, except easing the pain. She rubbed in oil, when suddenly she spotted marks on the skin below his balls. The area towards his arse was swollen, and four deep claw-cuts had been dug into the root of his member.
  “Evil bitch!” Life exclaimed – and looked around hastily.
  Most of the room was dim, but the walls had cracks and holes in it. The king had eyes and ears everywhere, even around the nursing house – or especially around the nursing house. Life dropped her voice to a whisper.
  “What has she done?” she asked.
  “She denied me to come.”

  His ability to hold back was Sigve’s strength in bed; he could take his women over and over. When King Harald had said he had to continue his visits to Gunnhild, Sigve had turned to the queen herself. It was on their second day of lovemaking. They were loitering among the furs after a morning of pleasure – Sigve touching the queen with his fingers – when he had suggested that he wanted to come – to finish. It was before noon, before she had started tearing up his back.
  Gunnhild didn’t like the idea. On the contrary. She started singing and chanting and making magic words against him; soon turning to powerful galdr. She aimed her seid at his erection, which she alternately cursed and worshipped. In between her chanting, she licked his member and forcefully kneaded his balls; her treatment being both painful and highly pleasurable. His manhood grew extremely hard, and the seid made his coming impossible.
  When he entered the queen again, she was wilder than ever, screaming and jerking and clinging to his body. For Sigve it was mostly pain.

  On the following visits, Gunnhild’s magic got worse. Yljali, his first lover, had also known magic, and too much so. Sigve’s adventure with Yljali had led to death and disaster, but her seid in itself had never been evil. The queen’s magic, however, grew more sinister at every visit, and she forced him to drink more of the bjor.
  The strong beer no longer lured him in among lovemakers in the cosy hall of Freya; rather he stumbled into the cold cave of Hel, the goddess of death. In her stone bed, Hel copulated with the dead, and when she caught sight of Sigve, she coaxed him into her cold embrace and forced herself upon him. All around them, snakes were hissing their forked tongues against them, before they shot out and bit Sigve’s shoulder.
  When the pain stuck him, he realized it was Gunnhild who had bitten. To get a respite from her grasp, he had managed to withdraw and use his tongue instead, but his sucking only made her pleasure stronger. When he took her anew, the queen was more violent than ever.

  On his last visit, their play degenerated further. They ate green cakes, drank bjor, and the queen’s seid sank into ominous galdr-tunes. She sang her spells on Sigve; he was bursting hard, and down his crotch, her tongue was teasing, and her hand squeezing, when suddenly she dug her nails into the root of his manhood.
  His fucking became insufferable; he couldn’t have come however hard he had tried. To get a pause, he withdrew from the queen and placed his head between her legs, and luckily, before he entered her anew – and she could start biting him – her captain-of-arms had knocked on the door.

  Rising from the edge of Sigve’s bed in the sickroom, Life fetched her magic sticks. She spoke her own language in a singing way and clapped the sticks together, making a clicking sound. First she clicked the sticks over Sigve’s breast, the home of mind and thinking, then she sang and clicked over his abdomen, the seat of his feelings.
  Suddenly she stopped, and without a word, she washed and treated the wounds in his crotch with the rest of her ointment. When she had finished, she looked at Sigve.
  “Did you ever come?” she asked.
  “Not at all?”
  With a gentle touch Life examined his bursting balls once more. She spread liniment on his sore skin beneath the balls towards his arse.
  “Did she attack your behind?” she asked.
  “No,” Sigve said, but Life rubbed oil around his arsehole nevertheless.
  “You had better come,” she said. “It will ease the pressure in your balls and help your healing.”
  “But how?”
  “Can’t you help yourself?”

  Cautiously Sigve took hold of his dick and began. The womanly presence of Life made it easy to get hard, but it didn’t lessen the pain. Taking a deep breath, he tried some more, kneading the head of his member. He got harder, but the harder he got, the more throbbing were his balls and manhood.
  “I can’t,” he said.
  “Try harder, and I’ll help you,” Life said.
  For a moment Sigve forgot the pain. Norse women wore nothing under their dress, and he felt a hint of expectation in his loins.
  “Will you lower yourself upon me?”
  “No,” Life said. “You know I can’t. The king will kill you.”
  Sigve nodded. King Harald had made it perfectly clear that anyone who abused Life would be dead, and the sickroom was no safe place. Lying on the bunk, Sigve did try harder, but he struggled to forget his aching body and focus on the work at hand.
  Without touching Sigve, Life led a hand over his member, back and forth. She cupped her other hand protectively around his balls. Sigve could feel warmth radiate from Life’s hands, and his pain was blended with pleasure.
  “Spread your legs,” Life whispered, and without actually touching him, she used her fingers to stimulate his member.

  Sigve wanked wildly. He imagined Life without her clothes. He saw her bursting breasts and nipples, he felt the burrow between her thighs. He also felt a finger against his arse, against the opening. With a determined movement, Life thrust a finger inside him, pressed it up and forward and hit a sensitive spot that made his body jerk in a bang of pleasure.
  A load of sperm splashed into the bedhead behind him – and then another. Semen hit his face and his throat. The jerking continued, and new spurts hit his breast and stomach. Only slowly the squirts diminished, and his hardness abated, but sperm still spouted out and filled his naval, running down the sides of his belly. Gradually Sigve got his mind back.
  Life washed her hands, took a clean rug and wiped his face. Dipping the cloth in hot water, she rubbed his skin. Relieved and dizzy, Sigve finally relaxed, but lying on his back, the soreness in the scratches came creeping.
  “Drink this,” Life said. She held forth a cup of herbal extract.
  “What is it?”
  “It will make you sleep.”

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Tyr - the slayer rune - opens Wardruna's album Ragnarok

The album Ragnarok (2016) finishes Wardruna's trilogy Runaljod (sound of runes). In three albums Einar Selvik and his band interprets the 24 runes of the elder futhark (the old rune alphabet). Prior to Ragnarok, they have released Gap var Ginnunga (2009) and Yggdasil (2013), and in each album, they present melodies interpreting eight runes - plus extra melodies, like the popular Helvegen (the road to Hel).

John Snow aka Terje Hillesund (author of The Slayer Rune) at Eidsivablot waiting for Wardruna to play
John Snow aka Terje Hillesund (to the right) at Eidsivablot
waiting for Wardruna to play.

In Norse mythology, Ginnungagap is the name of the deep chasm or gap in which the world was created. Yggdrasil is the name of a huge ash tree, the world tree, and Ragnarok is the end of the world; the final battle in which gods and humans will perish.

Tyr is the name of a rune and the title on the first song in Wardruna's last album. Tyr is originally a Norse god of war. He put his right hand in the mouth of the wolf Fenrir who bit the hand off after the gods had bound him with an unbreakable ribbon.

Einar Selvik from Wardruna interprets the rune Tyr in Ragnarok, 
the third album in the Runaljod trilogy.
Einar Selvik from Wardruna interprets the rune Tyr in Ragnarok,
the third album in the Runaljod trilogy.

The Old Icelandic Rune Poem says about the Tyr rune, that "Tyr is a one-handed god / and a wolf's leftover / and the temple's chief." In The Lay of Sigrdrifa (in The Poetic Edda) Sigurd the Dragonslayer wakes up a valkyrie, Sigerdrifa, who starts giving him words of wisdom and advice. In the sixth stanza of the lay, she tells Sigurd how to use the Tyr rune:

Victory-rune you must cut if you want to have victory,
and cut them on your sword-hilt;
some on the blade-guards, some on the plates,
and invoke Tyr twice.

In my book The Slayer Rune, this is exactly what the young hero Sigurd Haraldson does. Sigurd (who is later called Sigve the Awful) carves Tyr on his sword-hilt and gives it magic powers, but without knowing the consequences. Tyr, of course, is the slayer rune.

Monday, 14 November 2016

New Book from John Snow

Terje Hillesund aka John Snow is writing a
new book about Sigve the Awful, the
fifth book in The Viking Series

I am glad to tell that I'm writing a new book in the Saga of Sigve the Awful. It's the fifth book in the series, but I haven't decided on the title. War is building in the northern countries, and King Harald Greycloak of Norway sends Sigve to spy on his uncle, King Harald Bluetooth of Denmark. In the brewing struggles, the opponents are many, and everyone seems ready to betray everyone, even their closest kin. In the the bed chambers, powerful women are inciting their men to fight, and Queen Gunnhild, The Bitch Queen, is an active player.

I've thought of calling the book "Vikings at War", but I'm not sure yet.

Everyone who writes historical fiction does a lot of research. In my stories, I describe Viking environments and events (buildings, weapons, food, ships, battles) as accurate as possible, and to do so, I travel to important museums and historical sites, I visit reconstructed Viking houses, I follow the building of longships, I search the Internet, but first of all I read books.

Here, I'd like to present some of the these books. As in my stories about Sigve the Awful, love, warfare, history, and mythology are themes in the books below .

Vikings at WarVikings at War by Kim Hjardar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Vikinger i krig meaning "Vikings at War" is a very good Norwegian book about Viking warfare; now coming in English. It tells about the Vikings as raiders and conquerors, and the book describes how they established long-lasting realms in Ireland, Scotland, England, France and Russia. The book is beautifully illustrated with a wealth of informative photos, drawings, maps and graphics. It describes Viking war strategies at sea and on land, and it contains an especially interesting chapter about Viking weapons: their use and the weapons mythological and religious significance.

RagnarokRagnarok by A.S. Byatt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A.S. Byatt’s Ragnarok: The End of the Gods is a great book: well-written, interesting, exciting. I read it twice.

Ragnarok is about a little girl. Evacuated from Sheffield, she grows up in the English Second World War countryside. Here she starts reading the English version of the German book Asgard and the Gods. Digging into the mind of the child, Byatt simultaneously tells the girl’s life, her experiences with Asgard and the Gods, and the story of the Norse gods and Ragnarok. It’s elegant.

I don’t understand the end of the book. Does it give a stripe of hope? I don’t know. In Voluspå (the great Edda poem telling of the World’s beginning and end), a new and cleansed Earth rises after Ragnarok. But I prefer to believe that the Vikings and Byatt see Ragnarok as the ultimate destruction. Humanity lives and dies. End of story.

Sven Tveskæg - Danernes sidste vikingSven Tveskæg - Danernes sidste viking by Preben Mørkbak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book a few years ago, and I found it interesting and well-researched, but a bit slow. In my opinion, the most exciting part was the descriptions of the difficult relationship between Svein Forkbeard (Sven Tveskæg) and his father Harald Bluetooth.

When I read it again, it is to get some inspiration for a book I'm writing in which Svein Forkbeard is but a boy, but in which Harald Bluetooth plays a decisive role. My book is fifth in a series, and it follows The Bitch Queen in which Gunnhild Kingsmother is a major character. She is Svein Forkbeard's aunt and Harald Bluetooth's sister, and like all writers I'm stealing from others. So, thank you Preben Mørbak for your portrayal of Bluetooth!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Blood, battles, and passion: The Bitch Queen.

I'm happy to announce that you now can order The Bitch Queen.
United States (and the rest of the world): AMAZON.COM
United Kingdom: AMAZON.CO.UK

The Bitch Queen by John Snow

To save his chiefdom, Sigve must convince the Bitch Queen he is the man to support.

The Bitch Queen was one of many names for Queen Gunnhild, also called Mother of Kings. Gunnhild was married to Eirik Bloodaxe, who was King of Norway and King of York. She was a cunning woman, a practitioner of seid and black magic, exceptionally beautiful, and, according to legend, after King Eirik's death she developed an insatiable appetite for young men.

In this fourth book in The Viking Series, the saga of Sigve the Awful continues. An old enemy of Sigve's family returns to Norway from his exile in Northumbria. Kalv Kolson arrives with his son, Einar, who leads a fierce band of warriors. When Sigve learns about their arrival, he decides to eradicate Kalv, Einar, and the rest of the family – wives, children, and all.

Einar, however, is a good friend of Harald, Queen Gunnhild's son. Harald is King of Norway, and he has promised Einar his support. For Sigve it is crucial to make the king change his mind and help him instead. But, as everyone knows, the will of the king can only be moved through Gunnhild, who exerts great power over her son. Among people in the country, there is a saying that “Norway is ruled by the queen's cunt.”

In order to achieve his goal, Sigve sets out to meet Queen Gunnhild. The result of their meeting is uncertain. In every way, the Bitch Queen is hard to satisfy.

The brutality of Viking life.
The brutality of it all. Who will suffer in John Snow's new book "The Bitch Queen"?

Sunday, 28 February 2016

John Snow bestseller in UK with "The Slayer Rune"

John Snow, The Slayer Rune, and The Bitch Queen!
Will "The Bitch Queen" by John Snow do just as well as "The Slayer Rune?

This year has started very well for the books in the Viking Series. Again and again, "The Slayer Rune" has been no.1 on the UK Kindle bestseller-list in the category "Historical Norse & Icelandic". Now I hope my new book "The Bitch Queen" will do just as well!

"The Bitch Queen" can be pre-ordered at and
"The Slayer Rune" can be bought here and here

John Snow and The Slayer Rune on the bestseller list!

Saturday, 30 May 2015

My next book: The Bitch Queen

The Bitch Queen, Queen Gunnhild, Freya by Anders Zorn
"Freya" by Swedish painter Anders Zorn

The Bitch Queen was one of many names for Queen Gunnhild, Mother of Kings. Gunnhild was married to Eirik Bloodaxe, who was King of Norway and later King of York. The medieval Icelandic saga-writers agree that she was an evil and cunning woman, a practitioner of seid and black magic; she didn't mind using treacherous means to reach her ends. Gunnhild was said to be exceptionally beautiful, and, according to legend, after King Eirik's death she developed an insatiable appetite for young men of high rank.

Queen Gunnhild's many erotic excesses make her comparable with Freya, the goddess of love (see image above), but also with Hel, the erotically oriented goddess of death (see image below).

In the fourth instalment of The Viking Series, which I'm currently writing, the saga of Sigve the Awful continues. In the book, an old enemy of Sigve's family returns to Norway from his exile in Northumbria. Kalv arrives with his son Einar, who leads a fierce band of  warriors. When Sigve learns about their arrival, he decides to eradicate Kalv, his son Einar, and the rest of the family – wives, children, and all.

Einar Kalvson, however, is a good friend of Harald Greycloak, one of Queen Gunnhild's many sons. Harald is King of Norway, and he has promised Einar his support. For Sigve it is crucial to make the king change his mind and support him in stead of Einar. But, as everyone knows, the will of the king can only be moved through Gunnhild, his mother, who exerts great power over his son. Among people in the country there is a saying that “Norway is ruled by the queen's cunt”.

In order to achieve his goal, in this fourth book, Sigve sets out to meet Queen Gunnhild, the Bitch Queen. But the result of their meeting is uncertain, the Bitch Queen is hard to please.

Queen Gunnhild lets the Finns be killed.
"Gunnhild lets the Finns be killed."
Drawing by Norwegian artist Christian Krogh.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

John Snow and The Slayer Rune available on Google Play

I am glad to be able to announce that the three first books in The Viking Series are available on Google Play. Go to Google Play Books (on a smart-phone, tablet, lap-top or PC) and search for "The Slayer Rune", "The Lethal Oath", or "John Snow". Find the books, click TRY FREE, and have a look.

See also: John Snow on Google play

Or this link: Books on Google Play

John Snow on Google Play.
John Snow on Google Play.

John Snow, also known as Terje Hillesund, is now available
at all major e-book stores: Google Play, Amazon,
Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.
John Snow, also known as Terje Hillesund, is now available
at all major e-book stores: Google Play, Amazon,
Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

With these new uploads, my e-books are now distributed to the entire world and available on Google Play, Amazon, Apple iBook, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. This means I can concentrate on writing the fourth book in the series. I have the book's story-line in my head, and I have written a few chapters, but I haven't decided on a title yet.

In the fourth book Kalv Kolson, the old enemy of Vik, returns to the country, and Sigve the Awful has to defend his people. He seeks support from Gunnhild ("The Mother of Kings"), who is Erik Bloodaxe's widow and mother of Harald Greycloak, the new King of Norway. I can promise my readers that the meeting with Gunnhild will be a very special one indeed. Queen Gunnhild, as many will know, was famous for her cruelty, magic skills, and lasciviousness.

About the availability of my books, see:
John Snow available on Barnes & Noble (NOOK) and on Apple iBooks (iPad, iPhone),
The Red Gold by John Snow is now available at Amazon.

Read also this article about my writing on ThorNews:
Norse Fantasy Author John Snow: Self-Published, Successful – and Norwegian!