Thursday, April 22, 2021

Vikings 1: Blood Sacrifice by Neil Langholm

Vikings 1
Blood Sacrifice
by Neil Langholm (Laurence James)

Erik Ragnarsson, the son of the chief, leads a raiding expedition to Iceland with his violent rival, Jorund Thordarson. They flee after a couple of failed raids, get lost in the Artic north, and become stranded in the strangest of strange lands...Canada!

This installment is strangely bereft of action, the only direct action being a couple of aborted duels between the two rivals. Despite this, the book achieves a gory sense of violent brutality from the aftermath of unwritten battles and tortures. Usually I feel cheated by this approach, but here it was done effectively.

Well researched, or at least fakes it well. The book has it's own morality, with Erik advocating the normal amount of raping and pillaging and Jorund taking things a couple steps further. The rest of the vikings are a fun bunch, too. A favorite scene of mine has a berserker strip naked and leap off the ship to attack an iceberg, left to hack at the ice with a battleax as the ship sails away.

Note that some sources list Kenneth Bulmer as the author of all four installments, but sources that seem more careful have him sharing duties with James.

Paperback from AbeBooks

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