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4.3 out of 5 stars
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2011
This is a really good tale - well researched, crafted and told. I read all three in the series, one straight after another; and therein lies it's main (only?) failing. As has been remarked elsewhere, this saga is not three books, rather one book with possibly three (or two) segments. I read it in Kindle form, so it's hard to judge accurately, but I'd reckon that if printed on paper in similar typeface and font size this would be well less than (say) Rutherford's seminal "Sarum" in size. A bit of a modern con, really, and one that is not uncommon these days - but a rather extreme example.

Still, I did enjoy the series for all that..... Roll on the next episodes, let's just hope they're a bit longer!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2011
Excellent story and well written. If I have a criticism, it is that all 3 books of the trilogy are, really, only one book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2012
Disapproval has been voiced that the first three books are really short enough to actually be one book. That said, this is a cracking good read.

For me the negative was Halfdan's age (fourteen when this saga starts). At fifteen Halfdan is ordering men twice his age about and threatening veteran warriors, not to mention killing them, like a far more experienced man. In less than twelve months Halfdan has gone from a slave to an extremely talented young man, learning skills that others can only dream of after years of training and dedication.

However, don't be put off. If you can forget Halfdan's age, and Jud Roberts doesn't remind the reader of it too often, the story reads well as it captures the reader and carries you along in this compelling tale. The story doesn't unfold at a pace that will leave you breathless; the tempo is more measured than that and thoroughly engrossing because of it.

In Viking Warrior we meet Halfdan, a slave, and his slave Mother, and the remarkable chain of events that sees Halfdan freed. As the sole survivor of the ambush and treachery that saw the death of his new brother, Harald, and the small band of warriors accompanying them, Halfdan's quest for vengeance begins as he is pursued through the forest where he sets about turning the tables on his hunters.

Like others, having read the first book in the series, I immediately went on to read books two and three, and now eagerly await book four, which according to Jud Roberts' website should be with us in the early part of 2012. In spite of my disquiet at Halfdan's age, I haven't down graded my Star Rating of the series because I thoroughly enjoyed the telling of this tale, and I would happily recommend it to you.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2011
This book I found to be very good and thoroughly engrossing. You never knew what would happen next. I finished it in two days and wanted to immediately download and read the next book in the Saga. To be honest I don't normally read these books; I prefer theological tomes. However, for relaxation there is nothing better. Excellent read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
As per previous reviews, this third installment follows the previous two in being rather short; two hundred and something pages on the Kindle. Nonetheless, the story of Halfdan continues to trot along at a decent pace, and certain threads begin to tie up.

I do, however, have a number of gripes with this series. Fundamentally it is very like Cornwell's Thomas Hookton trilogy, rather too much in fact. I won't throw in any spoilers here, but if you've read the Cornwell work you'll see the similarity. This isn't an accusation of plagiarism - far from it - but it does mean you'll draw a comparison with Cornwell's works.

Where Roberts' story-telling begins to falter in comparison is twofold; Firstly, despite the obvious knowledge of the period, the language used in discourse between the protagonists can be jarringly modern. Whilst I don't expect the story to be told in old Danish, the appearance of the word 'Rendezvous' between two hairy Danish Jarls is very strange. It is notable in appearance because most other historic novelists avoid these like the plague.

Secondly, although the tale seems to be a novel retelling of a Norse saga, it frequently crosses the border from fantastic into silly. Through book two and into this one, Halfdan basically morphs into a Viking Rambo. Indeed, the whole transition from Thrall to stone cold killing machine is rather swift. Where Cornwell's usual heroes (Uhtred, Derfel, etc) have an extended period of learning their trade, Rambodan is fighting like a god after a few short months. Although this in itself it not implausible, the muscle development required to shot a longbow repeatedly in combat takes more than a few months to develop, similarly with spear and shield.

This, combined with the relative pence-per-page, detracts from the overall enjoyment of the series. I hadn't realised these books were print-edition as well until now (I wonder if these are aimed at the teenage boy market?), but if down in the 99p for Kindle category I'd rate them higher.

Having spent what amounts to a tenner on 700 Kindle pages, I've come away disappointed. First book started slowly, the second was the best of the lot, and third went rather silly. Have to say I only really got this far because I'd invested time in the first two.

Overall, I'm not terribly enthused to find out what happens to Halfdan. Given the previous installments I don't doubt he'll continue his one-man war machine path to justice over the bad guy, get the girl, and no doubt win great renown/land/whatever. The apparent historic accuracy doesn't do enough to pull it back.

Oh, and despite the knowledge of the period, there's some really odd stuff going on; the Danish and Franks campaign for months at a time without Dysentery ever rearing it's head (a problem which has haunted armies on campaign from the dawn of time right up to the mid 20th century), and a pitched battle with 10,000 horsemen on one side alone in 845AD is, usually regarded as highly improbable - given the population of the period - by historians; Hastings, Agincourt, and Crecy, for example, were much smaller.
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on 19 March 2013
A very enjoyable Story,i liked it so much i ordered the next two books and devoured them in record time.The story is a simple tried and tested formula very much in the bernard cornwall vein.
Pick a period in time,do enough research to make it as historicaly correct as possible,then create an underdog that rises for one reason or other above their station.The underdog has to be goodlooking,ruthless but fair.I dont care if its simple,it makes for a very good trilogy so far and i am looking forward to the next books to conclude the story.

My only crititism would be is the books are a litlle to short.
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on 24 July 2012
I started this book not knowing it was part of a saga but; the book started off slowly but gave me the chance to get to know the Viking in question. Once the story started to pick up and become more intense I was hooked,The characters are well described and I soon got to relate to each one. As I neared the end of the book I got to realise that there was no way the story could end with so few pages left, I was right but I do believe the next book I buy could well be the next in this series, I do need to know what happens next! An easy read and not too taxing on the brain, a good story that builds and builds.
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on 14 April 2012
I read the reviews on the Strongbow Saga as most said it was a good tale and enjoyed them I decided to give it a go.
Once I finished Viking Warrior I wasted no time downloading Dragons from the sea and The Road to Vengeance.
I know it's often a matter of personal taste but all I can say is that the story held my interest and I really enjoyed reading them and hope it's not too long before the next part of the Saga is available to read.
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on 20 June 2012
Judson Roberts has wrote a very beliveble story of the Viking History and made it a riveting read.
I like the Viking Warrior so much that I just had to buy the next two books in the saga and carnt wait for the next book to read it was the first book by Judson Roberts and now that I have read his books I am a Fan

Kind Regards

Liberty CoachesViking Warrior (The Strongbow Saga)
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on 24 May 2014
The author has obviously researched and studied the history and legends of the subject. Whilst the historical facts are entwined with the authors " poetic licence " to create a thoroughly absorbing read ,sometimes I thought that too much information took away the pace of the action. However I cannot wait for the next in the series is available.
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