Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 70% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Viking Rambo, 9 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Viking Warrior (The Strongbow Saga Book 1) (Kindle Edition)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Apr 2014 13:28:54 BDT
Verdandi says:
Well written-thank you
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Hove, East Sussex

Top Reviewer Ranking: 60,486