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The Whale Road (The Oathsworn Series, Book 1) [Paperback]

Robert Low
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Aug 2007 The Oathsworn Series (Book 1)

The first in the Oathsworn series, charting the adventures of a band of Vikings on the chase for the secret hoard of Attila the Hun.

Life is savage aboard a Viking raider. When young Orm Rurikson is plucked from the snows of Norway to join his estranged father on the Fjord Elk, he becomes an unlikely member of a notorious crew. They are the Oathsworn – so named after the spoken bond that ties them in brotherhood – and they ply a casual trade on the ocean wave, selling their swords to the highest bidder.

But times are changing. Loyalty to the old Norse Gods is fading, and the followers of the mysterious 'White Christ' are gaining power across Europe. Hired as relic-hunters by the merchant rulers of a bustling city, the Oathsworn are sent in search of a legendary sword of untold value to the new religion. With only a young girl as guide, their quest will lead them onto the deep and treacherous waters of the 'whale road', toward the cursed treasure of Attila the Hun. And to a challenge that will test the very bond that holds them together.

Robert Low, a significant up and coming voice in historical fiction, has created a startlingly modern tale in the style of the great Viking sagas. A heady mix of powerful suspense, blockbuster battles and religious intrigue, THE WHALE ROAD is a must for fans of Bernard Cornwell and Tim Severin. The Oathsworn series is sure to hook old and new readers alike.

Frequently Bought Together

The Whale Road (The Oathsworn Series, Book 1) + The Wolf Sea  (Oathsworn) + The White Raven (The Oathsworn Series, Book 3)
Price For All Three: 18.57

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (1 Aug 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007215304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007215300
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A company of warriors, desperate battles, an enthralling read' BERNARD CORNWELL

'A fantastic book, one of the best I have read for years. There's a wonderful earthiness to proceedings and he creates a tangible sense of being there. There's a sturdy, lyrical and epic quality about the writing which makes it feel like the kind of saga a Viking would recount in his old age.'

‘A stirring Viking series of blockbuster battles and religious intrigue.’
Publishing News

‘All the right ingredients are firmly in place…above all there is the storyline itself; told in an earthy, rough-and-ready stylewhich perfectly compliments this saga for the 21st Century.’
Yorkshire Evening Post

‘A fascinating read’ The Glasgow Herald

‘The Hangman humour of the band of sworn brothers gives Low’s epic but brutal tale real humanity and the detail of 10th century life is wonderfully vivd. The action is fast and furious…shockingly believably so. Low’s debut novel hits the mark with maximum impact.’
Bridlington Today

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but a bit too disorientated 4 May 2008
I did like this book, very much so and the style did remind me of a favourite author of mine; Bernard Cornwell (in fact Cornwell's recommendation tempted me to buy it) and I will be buying the second one. Pure adventure, escapist and very much like an old saga, the characters were good as was the history (it has created an interest of the Rus in me). I also found the fast moving pace and pure grittyness of life aboard a viking ship very well suited to the story. That said however the book did have a few problems in my opinion. Firstly, Low killed off too many good characters too quickly! Yes GRRM does the very same and his books are fantastic but GRRM has killed off many of his characters in the space of 4 VERY long books, not one short one. Some of Lows characyers could have been developed much better throughout the series. Secondly I found it ahrd to keep up with the villains as some appeared and dissappeared and reappeared etc etc.

That said I liked the book and will be reading this series to the end. 4/5 stars and recommended to Cornwell and historical fiction fans, and those who like the old sagas.
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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Authors takes you A Viking 15 Mar 2007
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Brand new author for a brand new year and one to watch, however I had read the forthcoming Conn Iggulden Wolf on the Plain prior to starting this so perhaps my views may be a little judgemental comparing the two pieces.

Whilst setting itself as a Viking novel it started off pretty well giving the reader a tale to be unfurled that would drive them into the Steppes in order to retrieve a whispered about treasure. However that said it felt the novel was a little bit rushed. Now this may seem a bit of an odd complaint as its action, action, action all the way, and whilst I do love that, I also love the lull that the sea gives into the piece, especially when you're submerged into the depths of the tale. Likewise I also felt that the novel seemed to have been mapped out and followed section by section a to b, b to c etc. However this is a first novel and as such these early errors can be forgiven.

That said however, I now feel that its time to move on to the positive points of the novel. It was beautifully written and the characters had a wonderful depth of colour about them. Even the names have had a huge amount of time and love lavished upon them so that the reader is spoiled with a wonderful crew to sail the seas alongside. As such it's a cracking read and I sincerely hope that the characters that survive continue to grow. Another positive point that Robert went with, the fact that he plays for keeps, there is no way that when surrounded by a thousand enemies that they are walking out unscathed, and as such each death tears the readers emotions some more hoping and praying that their personal favourite lives through the battle to survive until the next event.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Likeable but with Annoying Flaws 5 July 2011
I was looking forward to reading this on a recommendation from a friend and after speaking briefly to the auther at a Viking event.

Overall it was good read and I have continued to read the series but I wasn't driven to to do so. The most recent book (Prow Beast) sits on my shelf unread as yet and the one before languished on the same shelf for many months before I got around to reading it.

I enjoy the writing style, a bit raw, and whilst the characters are flawed, and brutal and not guaranteed to survive.

What really annoyed me however, and prevented me from giving it a higher rating was the annoying illogical ideas introduced into the story. These moved the tale rapidly from a historical novel into fantasy. Those who have read the section on with the longships oars being used creatively will understand the absolutely ridulous nature of the idea.

That and the combat scenes being horribly influenced by the limitations of the sport-like combat of historical reenactment groups.

A little more logic being applied to these scenes would have made the book a better read in my opinion, but I am aware that some do not care.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definate Keeper 21 Feb 2013
By Averil
Fantastic. Similar style of book, writing to Bernard Cornwell.
Absolutely convincing characters,good intricate detailing of small things,such as the food eaten, the different civilisations the characters come from, their beliefs,religion it`s all there?
The main characters have warmth,depth. You understand their plight,know why they behave the way they do.
Passion, betrayal,lust,historical accuracy,small details, everything?
All this, with good solid plots that take the reader all over the globe of the Norse era, with excitement, nail-biting cliff hangers ranged against some downright despicable,hideous bad guys of truly epic proportions.
All done in such a way that you feel you`ve really accompanied young Orm every inch of the way on his saga.
Interesting too,and quite amazing that Robert manages to tie real dates/events/characters together with Orms.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Decent enough, but hardly more than that 8 Aug 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While I found this book was somewhat enjoyable, I have no intentions of reading the rest of the series. It was far from a page turner, and I actually think it’s been a long time since I took this long to finish a book. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t entertained, and the concept of a good ol’ treasure hunt in Viking times was at least new to me.
A few times during the read, I found it a bit hard to understand what the author was actually trying to express. That might be because English is not my first language, but it happened more often than I usually experience. Another point of critique is that there are a few anachronistic errors throughout the book. Like when the narrator describes that “…4 hours passed…”, it makes me wonder how a Viking in 965 would be able to judge the passing of time that well, and whether the concept of “hours” and “minutes” would even have been around at that time.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good book
Published 14 days ago by Dennis Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars believable
I liked the story. I liked the development of the the characters within the story & I enjoyed the historical content. Would make a great film!
Published 3 months ago by Mark Haines
4.0 out of 5 stars Viking mayhem
Decent read well researched sometimes a bit hard to follow all the characters but enough to make me get the sequel
Published 5 months ago by Sandy Fenwick
4.0 out of 5 stars DANES
If you like the old books, like the Greeks,Romans, Gladiators etc, you will like this book about the Danes through the eye of one man
Published 5 months ago by freckle face
4.0 out of 5 stars Good yarn
Good yarn, some nice historical detail to give it a bit of bottom. A shame the rest of the series is not on Kindle yet
Published 5 months ago by Steven Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best....
Without doubt one of the most realistic, gritty, and enjoyable books I have read on this period of history, from the descriptive prose to the language used between characters. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Cass Clay
5.0 out of 5 stars A saga worth reading.
I enjoyed this story from beginning to end. Vikings to the man. Intrigue and betrayal in the name of wealth and survival.
Published 8 months ago by Rand'al Thor
4.0 out of 5 stars Geat seller -good deal
good performance from the reader but the story was not that hot, I'm sure whales do not travel with such ease between
Scandinavia and Asia-miner by inland waterways as the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by A. C. Gyngell
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy series.
I am on my 3rd read of the Oathsworn series. It is a must read for all historical fiction readers, especially for those who have an interest in the viking sagas. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Wuggs
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough to put down
Love The kingdom series so thought I would try the oathsworn series Struggled at first to get going but once I got into can't put it down already impressed enough to buy the next 2... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Andrew Streatfield
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