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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anyone for a Game of Kings?
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...
Published 21 months ago by Mr. A. I. Harrison

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars too much detail in the naming and by-naming of the characters
the story was generally well constructed and written although the author placed too much emphasis on the Nordic fondness for by-naming their characters, so much so that I was confused about who the story was dealing with at times. Having introduced the character it would have aided the flow of the story to stick to one name of the other, and not switch between them.
Published 17 months ago by Ed Brown


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anyone for a Game of Kings?, 18 Sep 2012
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.

Low stirs in his hard won research and knowledge of spending much of his time living like a Viking into the story and each Oathsworn adventure feels further steeped in genuine Norse culture and language. So much so I have found myself using the word plootering much to the confusion of my family! There was a couple of new character's added to the cast list including a very compelling and sinister bad guy.

Perhaps Crowbone is not so easy to like and identify with as the less ambitious and more self doubting Orm which did remove an element for me but there is always so much to enjoy in these Viking tales of Robert Low's. Action, adventure, trajedy and the blackest of humour. I was also very pleased to read the hint that the big fella may have another Viking tale up his sleeve yet so as Finn would say 'Heya' to that.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new man at the oar, 9 Oct 2012
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Review:

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

(Parm)

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. Looming over all is his ultimate rival; Gunnhild, the Witch Mother of Kings, Crowbone's arch-enemy who will stop at nothing to prevent him from knowing what and where this secret is.

In the fifth installment of his Oathsworn series, Robert Low is back to his full-blooded Viking best, this time visiting the harsh terrain of the North Sea coast, in a tale about one man's quest for survival and the unexpected alliances that emerge, as the very bonds that tie the Oathsworn together are put to the test.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The early years of the Battle King, 23 Sep 2012
By 
JPS - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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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. These include the old Viking King of Dublin and his sons, with Sigurd who would be among the warlords defeated at Clontarf more than 30 years later, without forgetting his wife of whom we will probably learn quite a bit more in Robert Low's next instalment. We also have the last son of Eric BloodAxe, his fearsome which of a mother and his two henchmen, including a psychopath of a youth who happens to be a very gifted killer. The fictitious characters are just as good and the historical ones with all of them coming to life.

A third (or is the fourth?) element which I particularly liked was the kind of guided tour through the Viking World of the 10th century that Robert Low takes us through in this volume. All is accurate and well-researched, at least as far as I can tell, from the last stronghold of the Khazars on the Black Sea, to Norway, Ireland, the Isle of Man, the last stronghold of the Picts and the Jarl of the Orkneys. The quest for Odin's Daughter, a magical Battleaxe that brings both power and ultimate doom to all of its owners, feels like a Viking version of the Quest of the Grail, with all its treachery and violence. The final climax, up in "Finmark" and then in the Orkneys, is as brutal and violent as you can expect and rather well done, even if not entirely a surprise. It also includes the hint that we will be having more of the Oasthsworn in future as Orm and his men sails to Ireland to attempt to win back his wife.

All is all, a superb read on the same high standard as all of the previous books in the series. I lapped it all up as fast as possible, loved every minute of it, and I am still asking for more...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good imagination, 30 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Crowbone (The Oathsworn Series, Book 5) (Paperback)
Probably a good reading Whale Road or Wolf sea, after reading White Crow which is badly written and lacks focus. Mark
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5.0 out of 5 stars OTHSWORN BK 5, 21 Jun 2014
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If you have read the previous 4 books the you will like this one even though it doesn't follow bear slayer
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4.0 out of 5 stars review, 20 Jun 2014
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just received this book and if it is like all the others in the series then will enjoy immensely. As usual the author will go into depth and make the storyline exciting
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4.0 out of 5 stars Crowbone comes of age, 27 Dec 2013
I have enjoyed the adventures of Orm and Finn and although they are relegated to quite minor but still significant roles in this book I found the development of Crowbone and his coming into maturity(?) fascinating. Robert Low manages to put his obvious extensive knowledge of the period into the weave of an exciting saga! Like any good Norn! Looking forward to what might occur next!
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4.0 out of 5 stars another good read, 21 Dec 2013
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Another good read from Robert Low about the Oathsworn. Not his best perhaps and the saga heads off in a different direction but looking forward to the next instalment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracker!, 17 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Crowbone (The Oathsworn Series, Book 5) (Paperback)
Crowbone is the latest book in the series telling the saga of Orm Bear Slayer and his Oathsworn, including Olaf Tryggvasson, known as Crowbone, who is intent on recovering the artefact known as Odin's Daughter, the axe used by Eric Bloodaxe. This is an excellent read, in my opinion. For those unfamiliar with the work of Robert Low, he has a tendency to use original dialect (often without translation); initially this can - it was for me! - be a bit annoying; however, I recommend perseverance. It will pay dividends in the end.

As it happens, I have a not yet opened copy of Bernard Cornwell's The Pagan Lord on my bedside table - that's how good Robert Low is!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracker., 15 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Crowbone (The Oathsworn Series, Book 5) (Paperback)
As the prev. books in this series,I was spellbound.Also the auther seems to be able to keep up his momentum in the series-unlike a lot of other authors.
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Crowbone (The Oathsworn Series, Book 5)
Crowbone (The Oathsworn Series, Book 5) by Robert Low (Paperback - 6 Jun 2013)
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