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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awakes a world long disappeared
A dear friend who shares the same taste in of books gave me this thrilling Viking trilogy with the words "The beginning is slow and a bit off putting, but get through the first 100 pages and then you will enjoy every coming page." And she was absolutely right.
Roughly the first 100 pages I found difficult to read as it constantly introduces new characters and places...
Published on 21 Feb 2006 by Amelrode

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow starter
This book isn't particularly long, at only 324 pages - so to spend the first 100 or so of these where the story plods along and the narrator jumps around a bit as to which part of the story he's telling, isn't a good way to start.

When the book got going, it worked well. The storyline seems quite familiar for books set in this period, and although I initially...
Published on 5 Oct 2010 by simon211175


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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awakes a world long disappeared, 21 Feb 2006
By 
Amelrode (Vilvoorde) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
A dear friend who shares the same taste in of books gave me this thrilling Viking trilogy with the words "The beginning is slow and a bit off putting, but get through the first 100 pages and then you will enjoy every coming page." And she was absolutely right.
Roughly the first 100 pages I found difficult to read as it constantly introduces new characters and places and the author seems to be all over the place, with no focus and any real plot developing. So it was a bit of a drag, but suddenly everything seems to merge, seems to make sense and felt into its place.
The story begins in the year 1001 and the main character is Thorgils Leiffson, the natural son of a Norse Chief. He tells the story of his life.
The reader will encounter a world which is so utterly different from ours. Christianity and pagan religion co-exist and fight for supremacy. Life was hard, cruel and full of fights. I have never been really fascinated by Viking history and know hardly anything about it. I did never really like this time as I found it dark. However, Tim Severin masters the art of getting the reader to understand this world. One learns about the world long dead and forgotten. Forgotten? Well, you will be surprised how much of this world still lives on but we are not aware of the origins of our deep rooted habits. So this book and the two other volumes of the trilogy are more than just another action packed novel. One is wandering through this world and starts to discover it.
Tim Severin is described as an explorer and traveler and living in Ireland. Well, the reader will have no problems of seeing that he made very good use of his talents in this book or better in the trilogy. It is easy reading, but it is not simple.
After having finished I stared straight away No. 2 of the trilogy and the same happened with book No. 3. I believe other readers will feel the same, but bear in mind: do not give up during the first 100 pages!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, slow to start., 7 July 2006
By 
S. Glossop "sgg" (uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is eventually a good read, very slow to start and filled with a huge amount of detail on people and places which can be quite hard to follow in Icelandic/Norse/Greenalnd names!. The first half of the book is filled with childhood experiences which to be honest I was getting a little bored of, but for me it hugely improves in the second half with a little more action. In terms of fiction/history it is very good, bringing a lot of detail to 1000AD Viking and Norse lives.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow starter, 5 Oct 2010
By 
simon211175 (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This book isn't particularly long, at only 324 pages - so to spend the first 100 or so of these where the story plods along and the narrator jumps around a bit as to which part of the story he's telling, isn't a good way to start.

When the book got going, it worked well. The storyline seems quite familiar for books set in this period, and although I initially was put off by it not being set around some famous king or whatever - I ended up enjoying it, and wanting to know what was going to happen next to Thorgils.

Having recently read (and not really enjoying) Cornwell's The Last Kingdom (Alfred the Great 1), I wasn't sure how much I'd like this book, but I came away thinking it was better written and had a lot more thought gone into how the story was going to work.

I think I would have marked it higher if it hadn't been so slow at the start, and I'm undecided as to whether I'll read the next instalment (Viking 2: Sworn Brother (Viking Trilogy)) or not - possibly it'll be added near the bottom of my very long to be read list.

Probably more of a 3 star rating than 3, but I don't think I can give it 4 stars.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read, 16 Oct 2005
By 
Mr. R. M. Crawley "bobbazoid" (Croydon, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This historical fiction much in the Bernard Cornwell vein. The vikings make an excellent choice of subject matter and Tim Severin does very well in conjuring up images of life in the far northern margins of the inhabited world. Spreading the geographical sweep as far as Vinland (which I think refers to Canada or North America) was a nice touch too. It perhaps does'nt have quite have the degree of suspense you get with a Bernard Cornwell book but it's certainly well worth a read and I recommend it. The next book in the serious is eqally good too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh, to Go a Viking, 2 Aug 2006
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The lead character in the first book of what is to be a trilogy is Thorgils Leifsson born in 999. As a child he travel to Vinland, the furthest outpost of the West and while there witnesses a massacre led by his malevolent aunt. During the massacre the Viking settlement is also destroyed He appears to attract trouble wherever he goes. In Iceland he is caught up in a blood feud between two rival families. He travels to Ireland but his ill luck follows him across the water and he is taken prisoner in battle.

An ardent worshipper of the god Odinn, Thorgils tempestuous life will take him through many adventures and to many corners of the world. He will face hardships in battle, shipwreck and many other disasters. But Thorgils has grown into an intelligent man and in the main has the wit to extricate himself from most of the troubles he find himself in.

I found the book an enjoyable read. There are many similar books on the market but this is as good as most.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book, an interesting read, but not spectacular!, 3 Dec 2007
By 
B. J. Madeley - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Odinn's child is the first in Tim Severin's Viking series featuring the character Thorgils Leifsson. The book is a fascinating account of Norse culture and beliefs. It gives great insight into the way of life in Northern Europe at the beggining of the eleventh century. The tale follows the central character's rootless early years through growing up in Iceland and Greenland, attempted settlement on the North American coast and slavery in Ireland.

Although Severin goes into great depth and detail in this novel, he fails to grip the reader in the same way that Bernard Cornwell and Robert Low do, in their Viking tales. At times the book even threatens to bore the reader, but it generally just manages to save itself in the nick of time with brief moments of intriguing action.

On the whole this book is worth a read, but it is a huge distance away from being the greatest Viking saga written in recent years.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A plodding read., 20 Jun 2011
By 
plot hound (Dublin, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This is a hard read, the pace is very slow with nothing happening for large parts of the book, it was a real struggle to get through the first half, the second half is better but still not good.

The style of the book is that of an old man writing his autobiography, this makes for a very lifeless read, everything is told as a simple series of events with no real narrative, simply I did A, I did B, I did C, etc.
There is also a persistent and annoying habit of adding annotation to people so "I met person A, little did I know he was to have a huge impact on my life", this is just poor story telling.

There seems to be some real knowledge of the history and mythology of the places encountered behind the writing and this helps to make some of it interesting, even though most of the facts are clearly fictional they have a nice historical feel to them.

Another weakness in the book is Thorgils, he isn't a very interesting character, he is just a spectator, he never seems to display any initiative or, in fact, any personality at all.
Thorgils is a poorly drawn cypher for the trip through history and that makes it hard to care him or about any of the events.

The book just comes across as dead, no excitement, no originality and no real story.
Once you get past the first half it is readable but I would never recommend it to anyone.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good YArn & Well Researched, 1 July 2005
By 
Capt I. McRae "The Ancient Mariner" (Angus, Scotland.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A good yarn in the best meaning of the term. Well researched and authentic in any detail I know anything about. This makes for a more interesting tale than would otherwise be. I borrowed the book from a friend, and would not have bought it at the cover price paid then.....10.99 for a paperback of 324 pages ????? They must have had poor sales, which isn't surprising at that price, and now Amazon is offering it at 3.99. That's more like it ! A good read at a fair price. Go for it. You won't be disappointed. Now if they'll just bring down the cost of the next volume ! :o)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More a travel book than an adventure, 12 Jan 2013
By 
Ian Riley (Shanghai, China) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Viking 1: Odinn's Child (Kindle Edition)
From the very start, this book felt like a copy of Bernard Cornwell's Saxon novels in the use of an old man to retell his tale. Since I liked the Saxon novels, I didn't hold that against this book, but the story is very slow to develop and lacks action. By the end it had become a chore to read.

Our hero travels from Orkney to Iceland to Greenland to Canada and back again, finally ending up in Ireland. Along the way he looses his friends, family and acquaintances at an alarming rate. In addition to the lack of action, the lack of appealing characters also undermines the enjoyment of reading this book.

I won't be buying the second volume.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to rate, 7 Feb 2012
By 
I bought this book along with the following two sequels purely because i wanted a book about vikings and this one had the best average reviews. I was looking forward to it.

However, upon arrival i immediately delved right in and read the first third of the book. And im still waiting.

The story seems realisitc and i like the way it is written in first person by the main character but I just couldn't get into it. I tried numerous times to read on but the story just lacks interest and dwindles far too long on certain scenes. Despite this i will sit and read through the trilogy at some point but i doubt this will be in the near future. Also, im aware that thor was a main part of norse mythology but im sure not everyone was named after him. In the book almost all the characters have the name Thor at the start of theres such as Thorgills, Thorgunna etc.

Final word about this book. Its not a bad book, its full of detail, realism and depth. It just seems to drag on too much, ive read a good portion of it and the main character is still a child despite the blurb saying the main character gets injured in battles and so on, this must be near the end of the book. I cant speak for the sequels because i havent read them yet until ive finished this, however i sincerely hope they improve as as a set these books were fairly expensive

3/5 - Lots of detail and atmosphere but doesnt invite you to read on, the kind of book you would be made to read for an english exam
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