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Crowbone (The Oathsworn Series, Book 5) (Oathsworn 5) Hardcover – 13 Sep 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 374 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First ediiton edition (13 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007298587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007298587
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 368,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


‘Gore and guts fill the pages of CROWBONE … but they’re also filled with the kind of muscular, fast-moving prose that gives the story real depth and distinction’ Sunday Times

Praise for the Oathsworn series:

'A company of warriors, desperate battles, an enthralling read' Bernard Cornwell

‘In the Oathsworn series he has created a completely convincing and utterly compelling modern Viking Saga. The history, myth and fiction are folded seamlessly together: wonderful, unbeatable stuff’ Harry Sidebottom

Praise for Low:

‘Robert Low’s… is historical writing at its best and most full-blooded, with its tremendous pacing, black comedy, a wonderfully vivid and rough-hewn prose style like runes hacked into granite.’

‘Gripping, written with great bravura, and dense in texture in the best traditions of the historical novel… All in all he has done something remarkable’
Allan Massie, SCOTSMAN

‘A real master of historical fiction.’ Ben Kane

About the Author

Robert Low has been a journalist and writer since the age of seventeen. He covered the wars in Vietnam, Sarajevo, Romania and Kosovo until common sense and the concerns of his wife and daughter prevailed.

To satisfy his craving for action, having moved to an area rich in Viking tradition, he took up re-enactment, joining The Vikings. He now spends his summers fighting furiously in helmet and mail in shieldwalls all over Britain and winters training hard. He lives in Largs, Scotland.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. I. Harrison on 18 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Oathsworn series is one of those 'must have now' series for me. Partly because they are just so well written and researched, but mainly because characters in this ongoing story are like my own personal friends now having spent some 4 years travelling with them.

So this episode was a little bit disappointing in that Orm and Finn have fairly small parts to play in the overall story. That is because, as the name of the novel indicates, this is the Crowbone show! For those of you who have been with the series from early on, you will remember young Olaf (aka Crowbone) was the prince come slave rescued by the Oathsworn from his life chained to a privvy.

Here we catch up with him on a quest to find the lost Axe of Eric Bloodaxe known as Odin's daughter, in the belief this magical item will bring him closer to the main prize of becoming King of Norway. This gives the story a 'Quest' theme with also a bit of a 'Norse its a knockout' flavour as several rival teams all set off to find the Axe at the same time. (anyone under 30 will have no idea what I'm on about!)

As usual I will try and avoid spoiling so will just touch on the themes rather than the plot. These were largely about Norse power politics and King making which can be roughly distilled down to make men love you or fear you and if you can do neither bury an axe in their head. Crowbone has to come to terms with being the main man and leader in the absence of his Jarl Orm and suffers some mixed fortunes as a result.
The story starts with a bedraggled collection of priests on the Isle of Mann with a secret and climax's in the mountain caverns of Finland via the battle for power in Ireland. It's all about ambition and revenge really.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover

A new Oathsworn book, Fantastic, i had eagerly awaited this for sometime. Only it wasn't really. I found after starting the book that they had been relegated to the bench while Young Olaf AKA Crowbone ran the show. I have to say that while the writing style, pace and research is as excellent as ever and just as you would expect from Rob. Crowbone as a character wasn't as real for me as Orm, i think it was because he wasn't as venerable and introspective as Orm. He has his fears from his past and they form who he will become, they drive his ambition and his ultimate cruelty, but then so do the times in which he lives.

The plot though, excellent, the style as usual blood filled but this time with a new ultimate objective that the main protagonist wants (a throne) unlike the bitter sweet search for a cursed treasure.

It was this difference that takes this to a 4 not a 5 for me. But for many this would easily be a 5 star book.

Highly recommended


Book Description

The long awaited return to Robert Low's Oathsworn series

Island of Mann, 979AD. A man lies dying with a message he cannot take to his grave, a sworn secret that must be passed on only to Olaf Tryggvasson, kin of Harald Fairhair of the Yngling line and true prince of Norway, also known as Crowbone. When the message finally arrives, so begins a quest to discover its meaning, and for Crowbone to gain what is rightfully his: the crown of Norway.

With a band of Chosen Men, Crowbone begins an unforgiving journey that will see him face the challenge of new enemies and confront his suspicions of treachery from old friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 23 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At last, Robert Low has gone back to "doing" Vikings, and this one is a treat because it is different. The previous volumes of the Oathsworn were rather focused on Orm and Finn, his right-hand man. We do get to see a bit of them, but they tend to take second place. This is because this book is mostly about the early years as a young warlord of Olaf Tryggvasson, who would become what he is shown to want so much in the book: one of the most fearsome Battle Kings of Norway - feared, but not loved.

One of the most interesting features of this book is the drawing of Olaf's somewhat complex character. Deep down, he is scarred by his youth during which his parents were slaughtered and he was made into a slave. He knows fear but overcomes it through force of will, bravery and ever recklessness. He also becomes cunning, cruel, ferocious and rather unscrupulous, to say the least. By and large, he is anything but a "nice" character, but then he would not survived very long if he had been. Another related feature which I found most interesting is the implicit and explicit comparisons that Low has his readers make. If you have read the other books in the series (or even if you haven't for that matter), the contrasts and similarities between Orm and Olaf are striking, with the former being wary, although not afraid, of the latter's recklessness and somewhat paranoid behaviours, whereas Olaf becomes little by little to becomes colder and less human.

Another great feature is the depiction of some of the other characters that we come across, and who seem and feel real, regardless of what they really were like, and this is something that we will probably never know anyway.
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