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

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