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God of Vengeance Hardcover – 24 Apr 2014

4.8 out of 5 stars 232 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (24 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593066189
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593066188
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.8 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 373,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Action-packed storytelling which stirs the blood and thrills the soul" (WILBUR SMITH)

"What elevates Kristian above the many pretenders to Cornwell's crown is the style and swagger of the prose. He is a modern skald, borrowing the old rhythms to create a brutal, absorbing tale" (Antonia Senior THE TIMES 'Books of the Year')

"Unrelenting pace, brilliant action and characters. A masterwork." (CONN IGGULDEN)

"A glorious, bloody, perfect Viking saga, rich with the poetry of the skald, ripe with blood and glory, vengeance and heartbreak. The characters stride from the page, alive, hungry, real . . . this is Viking writing at its very best" (MANDA SCOTT)

"This is the best kind of storytelling – a saga full of blood and thunder that grabs you and doesn’t let go until long after the final page is turned" (STEVEN PRESSFIELD)

Book Description

The author of the bestselling Raven saga returns to the world of the Vikings with this stirring story of Sigurd and his Fellowship - a thunderous tale of honour, courage, bloodfeud and revenge!

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Remember Raven? Well you should do! Giles Kristian’s debut book and the series that followed were ground-breaking for me, being the first Viking novels I had read. They had all the action, excitement and fur-wrapped adventure – with frozen snot in your beard – as a reader could hope.

Then Giles stopped (or more accurately paused) the Viking writing to delve into the world of the English Civil War with The Bleeding Land, which was one of the deepest, most harrowing pieces of historical fiction I ever read. A sequel spawned to that, and here was I awaiting the third of those novels. But no. Giles is of Norwegian descent and clearly he was, to quote a famous scene, pining for the fjords. As a surprise, instead of a third civil war novel, or even a fourth Raven one, we are given… (insert drumroll here) A PREQUEL!

Enter God of Vengeance. For those of you who haven’t read the Raven books, you’re in luck. This could be read without any prior knowledge. In fact perhaps it would even be better. For those who have, this novel tells the tale of our Raven fave Sigurd as a young man and treats us to his introduction to several of the solid characters who will make up his crew in Raven (including the excellent Black Floki.)

Sigurd is too young to accompany his father to war as part of King Gorm’s war on the rebel Jarl Randver. Instead he travels to a clifftop with family and friends to watch the sea battle unfold. To his horror, instead of seeing his father win easy glory, he watches as King Gorm betrays his father and the three ships are overwhelmed.
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By JPS TOP 100 REVIEWER on 4 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like your historical novels literally overflowing with fights and battles, with hands, heads and limbs being chopped of left, right and centre, then this one is certainly for you. It is even a bit “excessive” or even unrealistic at times, with warriors being split in two from head to groin, which is something that was as best rather difficult, especially when said warrior was wearing a helmet and chainmail. Regardless of whether one likes this genre or not, the story is definitely “fast-paced”, to use the usual jargon. The point here is that the hero and his followers keep going from one fight into another throughout the book.

Fortunately, there is also quite a bit more to this book, at least for those that also like a few other things in addition to hard fights, blood and gore. First of all, and although it is a prequel to Giles Kristian’s “Raven” trilogy, it can easily be read on its own. Second, it depicts a rather grim, hard, cruel “Norse way” of life, with settlements of farmer/warriors constantly preying on and raiding each other. Although presented as the way to earn fame and reputation, it was also, and perhaps foremost, a ruthless competition for rare resources in a rather hostile environment.

The third, and perhaps the most important part, because it is the dominant theme of the whole book and is illustrated by its title, is the concept of the blood feud, and the attachment and bonds to family, clan and followers. The whole book is about Sigurd’s drive and relentless vengeance against those who have traitorously vanquished and slaughtered his father and mother, his brothers, and their followers, partly because they coveted their lands and partly because they may have become a bit too powerful for their own neighbours’ safety.
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Format: Hardcover
Norway in the late 8th century AD. The land and sea are divided and ruled by kings and jarls, united in alliances sealed by oathsworn bonds of fealty. To break this oath is to lose all honour and vengeance will be pursued with a godlike fury. King Gorm's betrayal of Jarl Harald is complete - the jarl is defeated in sea battle, tricked in parley, his people slain in their village or enslaved. Harald's youngest son Sigurd, who so recently, for the first time, staggered Harald's men with his innate warrior prowess, survives with his father's brother in arms, Olaf, the fearful Asgot the godi and Sigurd's boyhood friend, Svein. Their mission is simple, to rescue Sigurd's sister, bound for the slave market or a hatefilled marriage, and to wreak vengeance on King Gorm and his henchman Jarl Randver.

Sigurd must prove himself, as a wearer of rings let alone a giver of them. He must find his small band a ship worthy of their quest. He must prove godly favour through ritual and magic and he must win new followers to join his men.

So begins a quest that will hold the reader spellbound. Over land and sea, Sigurd sets his course of vengeance to jarldom, conquering the obstacles placed in his path by gods and men, overcoming the challenges, by axe or guile, in a series of adventures, most of which end with blood shed but each a vital step on Sigurd's journey. Sigurd, though, is a hero we've met before and how good it is to sail with him again.

Three years ago I devoured in one weekend, back to back, Giles Kristians' Viking trilogy, Raven. Sigurd the Lucky is a fearsome jarl, ferocious and brave, honoured by his men, favoured by Odin.
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