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BLADE HONER - Book One: The Hammer of Greatness: The First Trilogy in a Novel Series about the Life of the Oseberg Priestess (The Priestess of Oseberg 1) [Kindle Edition]

Maria Kvilhaug
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In 834 AD, two ageing, high-ranking women were given a splendid ship funeral at Oseberg in the kingdom of Vestfold, Norway. The women were likely connected to a religious cult. DNA-studies have shown that one or both of these women may possibly have had partial origins in eastern Europe and that the youngest woman may have been aged between forty and sixty when she died. As a child, she must have seen the very start of a new era, where the ancient, Heathen and “barbarian” Norse customs of Scandinavia were first challenged by the surrounding world.

We are back at the very dawn of the Viking Age; The age of Charlemagne, Empress Irene and Harun al-Rashid, Ragnar Lóðbrok, King Sígurð Ring and Queen Ása. Most of Scandinavia is Heathen, tribal land, divided into several kingdoms and tribal confederations. The Viking (pirate) Rus have only recently settled in Aldeigjuborg (Staraya Ladoga) by the river Volkhov, and have begun harrying the neighboring lands for slaves and other trading goods to sell to the Khazars and the Arabs.
Thorbjörn, the last living member of the Thunder Priest clan, persecuted by the Svear kings, has found sanctuary in the Baltic river lands and begotten a daughter, Thordís, who is to carry on the legacy of their secret knowledge about Thunder.

And then the Vikings arrive… Orphaned, Thordís, the last Thunder priestess, embarks on a quest to save her half-sister Zivah from rape and slavery, befriending the most rogue and ruthless pirates in the known world.

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1470 KB
  • Print Length: 325 pages
  • Publisher: BookBaby; 1 edition (17 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J3BR8O8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #573,918 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Dom
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In common with fellow dyslexics I share a passion with books and have an extensive library that is either unread or only partly read.
In fact, as do many, I have only ever read two books completely; Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
Now there are three!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Hammer of Greatness 22 Sept. 2014
By big jon
Format:Kindle Edition
I have always been a big fan of historical novels since reading Flashman a long long time ago. Blade Honer, Hammer of Greatness, first in the trilogy, does not disappoint. Set in the time of the Viking Rus, it is the tale of the Thordis, natural blade honor and last in the line of the Thunder Priestesses.
Maria Kvilhaug (author of the Seed of Yggdrasill) skilfully weaves her knowledge of Old Norse custom with an exciting page turner. At times my blood was roaring, probably why I found myself outside in the recent thunderstorm arms upraised, calling to Thor (and yes, he answered).
So what is a blade honer? "If the edge of a man's soul needs some honing, then the honing will come, by Death or by Challenge."
I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cann't wait for book 2 8 April 2014
By Andy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book. The characters draw you in and you find yourself concerned for them. The plot pulls you along as it becomes a real page turner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read. A good story with great detail 10 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent read. A good story with great detail. I have read a lot of Norse books and this is one of the best. Looking forward to the next book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and transportive glimpse into end of Viking age mystery cult 31 Mar. 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Maria does an excellent job in writing a captivating novel that convincingly brings alive the early tumultuous Viking era. It stands on its own as a novel with complex characters and a rich narrative told by the heroine Thordis.

The richness though of the novel IMO is that it is historically inspired and if you are familiar with Maria's formal scholarly background on the subject, and her individual research on the old norse periods freya.theladyofthelabyrinth.com its obvious that this is much more than a historical based fantasy, but instead is a deeply inspired and informed story that frames well the larger forces of the age thrust upon the norse people.

The ruthless Rus vikings are brought vividly to life through the perceptive lens of the heroine Thordis who with her sister is taken captive by a group of Rus viking pirates. Nothing is left out from the narrative, the plundering, the violence, and the rape, but what is revealed are many new layers to the motives to the lives and ways of these men. The complex power dynamics of the deeply male hierarchical ordering of these viking men are vividly and convincingly described, right down to the intense and primal way eye contact was used in communicating rank and submission. So too though are the forces which spurred the organization of such rogue men. It is an age of violent expansion in many forms, violent kings, totalitarian monotheisms, slavery and I think that Maria's Rus viking characters do a great job of capturing the deeper dilemma many of these men found themselves in and given the forces at work its is more understandable how such hardened rogues came into being.

Of course the central feature of the novel is the narrator and heroine, Thordis. Its really a fascinating story that is being painted, and we learn a little of the thunder god lineage through the character of her father Thorbjorn. Her role, along with the role of her sister Zivah really start to come to life at the end of the novel and certainly leaves you hungry to read the next novel.

Overall if you are into old norse culture and religion or even just that time period in general this book is a very worthwhile read. I enjoyed it and was very captivated by it from start to finish.
5.0 out of 5 stars Via Willow: "Never did I want to put it down and stop the magic of the story." 13 Jun. 2014
By B - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Maria Kvilhaug’s book The Hammer of Greatness was thrilling, invoking, and insightful. Never did I want to put it down and stop the magic of the story, even for a moment. The characters feelings and views were portrayed so well that sometimes I would believe I was the character; and I couldn’t sleep at night because I was thinking about it. This book made me wonder about how my ancestors must have lived, and where I come from. I believe we’re lucky that Maria Kvilhaug is here on this earth, that she has done so much research, and was able to create this book. If she hadn’t, I wouldn’t be in so much anticipation for the next one!
5.0 out of 5 stars Maria has enchanted me with this must read. Thank you 16 April 2014
By Dom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
In common with fellow dyslexics I share a passion with books and have an extensive library that is either unread or only partly read.
In fact, as do many, I have only ever read two books completely; Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown.
Now there are three!
5.0 out of 5 stars It takes courage to let a woman hone you... 10 April 2014
By Jason DeHaven - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Immediately it is apparent the author is a great storyteller with the ability to construct such vividly consumable imagry. It is also evident that this comes from a depth of understanding of both the subject matter and the truth of what complex creatures humans are (especially when stripped down to our barest moments). Thouroughly enjoyable read. Captivated. Devoured every delicious detail.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Serpent Ships 7 April 2014
By Erick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A beautifully written story. Maria Kvilhaug weaves Norse mythology and historical fiction into a gripping and heart opening tale that is fresh and new, rebirthing the stories of our foremothers. Maria's confident, powerful, and compassionate female characters lead the way in book one of the Blade Honer trilogy.
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