I decided to read this book after watching the flawed but fun film The 13th Warrior which was based on Crichton's book. Crichton's book is, of course, based on the slightly tall tales of Ahmed ibn Fadhlan and the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf. Confused? Don't worry, it's better than it sounds as Crichton weaves his clever web of comradeship, heroism, faith and cannibalism where his central character swallows his pious pride to take up arms alongside pagan barbarians to fight a savage, relentless and unnameable enemy. Make no mistake, this isn't one of Crichton's usual techno thrillers as there's not an atom of scientific hokum in it, which might explain its comparative brevity, but the reader is plunged headlong into the scrapping and skullduggery.
A cracking yarn that would be ideal reading for dark winter nights to give you a scare or two and make you think twice before mentioning the Wend-... no, I won't say it in case I summon them up. Go on, read it if you dare.