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The Eye of Odin [Hardcover]

James Richard Larson
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: £30.99
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Book Description

6 Oct 2003
Banished from his homeland in Norway for religious beliefs that ultimately resulted in murder, a Viking chieftain and his family must leave their home and travel to a new land. With the Christian king determined to stamp out the old gods, Thorvald Asvaldsson and his son Erik, who will one day be known as Erik the Red, embark on a perilous journey destined to change the world accompanied by the powerful seer Ragnar.

Once restricted to sailing near their native shores, the dawn of the longship brings Viking warriors to the unsuspecting coastal areas of Europe. The warriors descend on settlements like a plague, attacking towns at will and displaying a savagery never before seen.

At the height of the Viking expansion into Europe and the spread of the pagan religion, there is an evil in the world awaiting the travelers, an evil from the depths of hell itself.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse.com (6 Oct 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595659446
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595659449
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 16.2 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,615,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

James R. Larson is a student of history and foreign languages. A veteran of the U.S.Navy and Vietnam , Larson lives with his wife of thirty years and family at Wind Lake, Wisconsin. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Solid Yarn Spinning. Read & Enjoy ! 29 Nov 2004
If you're looking for high literature, you won't find it here, as Jim Larson is never going to be acclaimed as the greatest exponent of the English language. However, he is a master of the craft of yarn spinning. I found this novel of Viking times a genuine "couldn't put down". The characters come alive, and there is none of the confusion that one can find in some epic novels. What Nigel Tranter did for Scottish history in novel form, Jim Larson looks like being fully capable of for the Vikings. Superb first novel, great reading, and I can't wait until the next one, called "Wolfgar" is published. I'll be at the head of the queue to buy it.
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"1000 years will pass by, until men recall our old gods....
....then the worship of Odin will become more powerfull than ever before!"
(Ragnar Ragnarson, nordic seer and priest, at the end of 10th. Century)
The Norwegian king Hakon I. has been educated like a christian at the royal anglo-saxon court. In the year 950 AD, at the harvest celebrations at the City of Hlader, he doesn't only reject the participation in the victim smeal in the old god's honour, he even makes the sign of a cross towards the holy drink, that has been dedicted to Odin....
....as reaction to this sacrilege against the gods of Asgard, Thorvald Asvaldson and many other noble an free men take an bloodoath, that they will never accept Christianity.
The main theme of the novel is the foreseen victory of Christianity, that comes together with an etablishment of royal authority, that both have no tolerance of the religion of their ancestors. In distant Iceland, which is a place for refugees, emigrants and banished norsemen, without the ruling of a king, but with freedom of religion, the space for the worshipers of Odin, Thor, Njord and all the others becomes small and smaller...
Beside raids, trading and discovery travels, which could frequently flowing into each other, and a hunter easily could become the hunted, the reader recieves extensive information about the religion and thejuridical system of the vikings. To that belongs the descriptions of victim rituals, the meaning of the Holy Runes an different kinds of divorcing in the old nordic styles. Especially the tasks of the powerfull "Allthing", with the mebership of all free men, executes beside legislation and jurisdiction, also the government of island. (It is really busy with "all things".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Viking era Odysse! 11 Mar 2006
The Eye of Odin is not your everyday novel, nor is it a novel you read and put on your shelf of recently-read-books as just any other.
This book deserves your full attention, with it's mighty tapestry of the vikings in Iceland. It is rich with characters, filled with both adventures and travels and although we have but little knowledge of the vikings´everyday life, it all feels true. The vikings plot against eachother, go a-viking, plunder, pray to the ancient Gods- just as we would perceive they did.
The Norse tradition and the words-of both characters and places- also feel authentic and easily recognizable for a norseman as myself, all but one. King Harald Harfager, who's name to us noresmen is well known as Harald-the-fair-haired.
The book slowly, but surely takes you from Thorwald's banishment from Norway, through his life in Iceland, to the fate of his son and his sons, so that it ends with Leif, the grandson, renown for his travels to Vinland, the ancient coast of Norhtern America. These travels have long since been known, through the historian Sturlusson (9th century) and have but recently been proven correct.
Give this novel the time and attention it deserves and you will find it hard to put down. I enjoyed it slowly, but that gave me new problems .. First,I didn't want it to end.
Second, How am I going to cope before I can get my hands on the sequel?
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5.0 out of 5 stars To go a-viking . . . 31 Jan 2006
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME
At a time when current literature seems surfeited with either fantasy or self-indulgent whingers, it's a delight to encounter a good fictional account of historical figures. Larson, reaching deep into the past, retrieves the Norse hero, Erik the Red. In school we learned of Erik's Atlantic journeys, but were quickly switched to Columbus as the conveyor of European culture to the Western Hemisphere. When later evidence emerged of Norse settlements in Newfoundland, the old myths gained new status. Now, Larson has brought these distant hints to full life with an engaging tale. Fraught with plots, feuds, exiles and viking raids, this is a fine book to take up on long winter nights.
The story opens with Erik as a teen-ager in 10th Century Norway. The Christians are making inroads on traditional faith. The king, although a Christian scorning pagan beliefs and rituals, is constrained from forcing conversion. Always threatened by Denmark's competitive forces, Hakon must lead his warriors in confronting invasion. Thus, he keeps peace with his nobles, lest they rebel. In the midst of these political and religious confusions, Erik's father, condemned for a killing, is exiled to Iceland, fairer than its name. Maturing on the island, he becomes caught up in feuds typical of the era. One of these conflicts, stretching back to Norway itself, brings Erik to Greenland to found the Norse colony there. Greenland thus becomes the stepping stone for Norse landings in Newfoundland.
Larson panders to no "modernisation" demands in his stirring tale. Viking raiders sought slaves, treasure and the power these brought on return home. Christian monks were slain out of hand and coastal towns ravaged mercilessly. He doesn't gloss over these incidents - they were the norm of the age.
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