Historical Fiction – Vikings

The Last Kingdom: A Novel
by Bernard Cornwell

When Danish raiders kill his family, ten-year-old Uhtred becomes the captive, and later the adopted son, of Viking warlord Ragnar, who has conquered three out of the four existing Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (including Uhtred’s home of Northumbria). Yet despite his admiration and affection for Ragnar, Uhtred longs to reclaim his rightful lands and title as the Earl of Bebbanburg. His conflicting loyalties come to the fore when he encounters Alfred of Wessex, the future King Alfred the Great. Set in ninth-century England, The Last Kingdom is the 1st book in Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories series, which continues with The Pale Horseman.

People of the Songtrail: A Novel of North America’s Forgotten Past
by W. Michael Gear and Kathleen O’Neal Gear

This latest novel by the Gears, the popular husband-and-wife team of archaeologist-authors, focuses on the Norse colonization of the Americas. In the year 1000 CE, Vikings arrive in what is now Northeastern Canada and establish a settlement, setting the stage for violent clashes with the “skrælings,” the newcomers’ term for the indigenous people of the region. Although People of the Songtrail is the 10th book in the First North Americans series, this novel easily stands on its own with its strong sense of place, well-researched historical details, and vivid rendering of cross-cultural conflict.

The Witches’ Kitchen
by Cecelia Holland

Once an Irish lad who dedicated his life to seeking revenge on the Vikings that slaughtered his family, Corban Loosestrife is now an older and wiser man, living peacefully in Vinland with his wife and family. He’s happy fishing and farming far away from the power struggles of the Norsemen who have conquered his homeland. But Corban’s past is about to catch up with him. Fans of the television series Vikings will be thrilled by the raiding, trading, and invading that shape this 2nd stand-alone installment of the The Life and Times of Corban Loosestrife, afterThe Soul Thief.

Odin’s Wolves: A Novel
by Giles Kristian

Having carved a bloody swathe through central Europe, Sigurd the Lucky’s band of Norsemen set their sights on Miklagard, the “Great City” of the East better known known as Constantinople, the wealthy seat of the Byzantine Empire. As his comrades prepare for conquest, seer Raven — heartbroken over losing the woman he loves — hopes that fortune and glory will be enough to restore his wounded spirit. AlthoughOdin’s Wolves stands on its own, readers who want to start at the very beginning should check out Blood Eye and Sons of Thunder. Those seeking even more Viking action should try Robert Low’s Oathsworn novels, beginning with The Whale Road.

List created 7/7/16 – James Hartmann

Adapted from Nextreads.

Posted in Adult Staff Picks, Reading Lists and tagged , , , .