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4.5 out of 5 stars38
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 3 July 2005
From the start the book draws the reader in, with the writings of a monk(the lead character and narrator of the story, Thorgils) and that his life entailed much more than living in a monastery.
We follow the life of Thorgils, his childhood, and his parents and his adventuring far and wide in the era of the Vikings and on into manhood, with his worldly views chopping and changing as he tries to find himself. It's brilliant to see a book take the step of bringing to life the settlements on Greenland and the interconnections and intrigues of all the Scandinavian countries. There's even a phase of the book set in Ireland!
In reading this book it's hard not to feel like you are experiencing all the travels by the side of Thorgils and seeing what he's seeing. There is a rich depth to the "old ways" versus the new religion of Christianity. If you didn't know much about norse mythology before reading this book, you will be searching out books on the subject afterwards. The Vikings are prortrayed in a wonderful earthy and in some cases mystical tone, making for great reading.
It's a strong story, and you're never entirely sure where the trilogy is going to go, but you feel you have to stick to it and find out. The book is written in a good style that flows easily and makes for a great fast "page-turner" volume! The characters have depth and you get to love and hate many of them along Thorgils' journey.
I'm well into reading book 2, "Sworn Brother" now, and I'm still of the opinion that this is an excellent triology, refreshing and gripping! 5 Stars!
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on 4 July 2005
This is an excellent 2nd book in the trilogy.
Following on from the 1st book "Odinn's Child" we join Thorgils in England, where we discover he has become the lover of King Knut's wife Aelfgifu. And to not give too much more away THAT is just the start of yet another book full of adventure, mysticism and intrigue!
There are some more interesting cultures introduced when Thorgils finds himself in Finland and then on his path to Constantinople, which is a great addition, to use the old viking trade routes. A lot of story happens between England and his trail to Constantinople though.....in fact the book is packed with new plots and twists the reader didn't see coming.
The writing is again of high quality, allowing the reader to "see" and experience everthing Thorgils goes through. There is some wonderful continuity with characters from "Odinn's Child" reappearing in this volume, adding even more depth to their personas. There are some great new characters too, including the main new character of Grettir....a fascinating Icelandic man, and a guy called Edgar.
Again we travel along as Thorgils describes his life, it's highs its lows and its moments of new experiences. It's a truly fabulous book, and bringing in a couple of new cultures from the age adds even more to the world it's set in. It's also nice to see at the end, the author relates the real story(folk tale/history) that he based his latest work around. Excellent read, can't wait for the 3rd book now! 5 Stars!
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on 18 September 2009
This is the second of Tim Severin's Dark Ages romp through the Viking world.

Our first escapade with young Thorgils ended with him being fished out of a leaky Coracle by passing Vikings, having tried his hand at farming, hunting, life as a Monk and outlawdom. The beginning of Sworn brother finds him in bed with King Knut's Saxon wife and ends with him jioning the Byzantium Verengian guard.

Lots more fairly lighthearted adventures on the way as thorgils uncovers some very early money laundering, tries Royal animal keeping, jions up with the legendry Jomsvikings and goes on the run with an infamous icelandic outlaw.

The books are a series of mini adventures which introduce us to to a collection of larger than life characters and highly unlikey events! It's undemanding, great fun and stress free reading. It might not leave you with that 'I'm off to bed early to read my book' feeling but it will give you a few smiles and insight into the challenges of Dark ages Nordic living.
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on 15 February 2005
For anyone thats has an interest in Vikings or tales of the past, this made a really good read. Although not awe inspiring, it certainly was enjoyable, and left me waiting in anticipation for the second in the series.
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on 17 May 2009
Having read all three books in the Viking Trilogy, I was unfortunately very disappointed with them. If you want to read a book on Viking mythology then this is perhaps for you. Myself I was so bored with the books at times I nearly gave up reading them. The lack of action and atmosphere felt like I was reading a text book. Sorry Tim, you must try harder in future. Maybe I have been spoilt by Bernard Cornwall, Simon Scarrow and Colin Iggulden, to name a few.
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on 23 September 2006
New (to me!) authors make me nervous. All too often, the shiny cover of the book promises a treat that the words within fail to deliver. Having being burnt rather too often of late, this time I decided to save my hard earned cash and borrowed Tim Severyn's trilogy from my local library instead. Typical! These books are definitely worth the money. The books have a great 'voice' and, even better, contain more Vikings than you can shake a stick at!

I've just finished book two and I loved it. Thorgils (the hero) is a wonderful travelling companion with whom to explore the mysteries, and peoples, of the ancient world. It's a really easy read too, even though we encounter real historical characters en route. There isn't a dull piece of prose to be found anywhere. I particularly enjoyed seeing how the Norse Gods fare against the White Christ and His followers. The similarities between the religions are fascinating. But changes are a-coming and the Old Wisdom is under threat. I even experienced a few pangs of fear for the intrepid Thorgils. I hope Odinn keeps on protecting him!

Buy all three books. A darn good read!
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on 15 August 2013
Much better than the first book - less rambly and flitting around - still find the long ramblings on religion a bit tedious and the second sight pointless, but it's a good read. Yes it's convenient that Thorgils ends up in so many places at the right time - a bit like a Flashman for the 9th Century without the cowardly debauchery - but hey that's what stories are for ! I agree with other that Thorgils himself is a bit of an earnest bore and....he's still not a viking - a couple of weeks serving at Jomsburg does not make him that ! I see from the reviews the Saxon series is equally mis-named ! On the final book now, glad I stuck it out !
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on 19 March 2005
Not having read a book following this form of storyline before was a change for me and have to admit that during the first pages I was wondering why I'd bought it. However I did, and read on.
Not a book that could be described as a "can't put down" but none the less I had to keep picking it up, finding it strangely compelling and as such really enjoyed it.
So much so that I will be continuing the saga on the release of the second book in the trilogy.
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on 11 July 2013
I immediately started reading this book after finishing Viking: Odinn's Child, this being the second book in the thrilling Viking trilogy and this picks up where Book One left off.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and Tim Severin seems to have really got his teeth into the topic, delving deep into the subject matter to make this series of books so appealing.

As with the first book, there is a huge amount of authentic information on Viking culture and cosmology, and this novel demonstrates the reach of Viking exploration and Viking law and their mythology.

As someone who has a deep seated interest in the Norse, I found the books very realistic in following the cultural aspects of their lives; and they are also great adventure novels.

Having finished Book Two I will be immediately starting Book Three of the trilogy, and whilst I can't wait to start the next chapter I have a slightly heavy heart knowing this will be my final encounter with Thorgils.
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This is the second book in the thrilling Viking trilogy and although I enjoyed the first book very much, the author seems to have really got his teeth into the adventure now and I found that I read the book in no time at all.

The year is 1020 AD the place, London. It is a few weeks since Thorgils has escaped the clutches of the Irish Church, but he now finds himself driven even further into the mire when he find himself at the centre of a love affair with none other than Aelfgifu, wife of Knut the Great, not only ruler of England but one of the most powerful and feared men in the Viking empire. As the passionate relationship unfolds it augurs nothing but trouble for Thorgils.

With Thorgils finally on the run again he meets up with an outlaw, Grettir. The pair become traveling companions and sworn brothers which binds them together not only through life, but death also. At the gates of Byzantium Thorgils' loyalty is put to the ultimate test
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