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Viking Warrior (The Strongbow Saga Book 1) by [Roberts, Judson]
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Viking Warrior (The Strongbow Saga Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Length: 309 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

About the Author

Over his long and varied career, Judson Roberts has been a police officer, federal agent, organized crime prosecutor, and private investigator. He is also reputedly a distant descendant of Rollo, also known as Rolf or Hrolf, the Viking leader who in 911 AD entered into a treaty with the King of the Western Franks and was granted the lands located around the mouth of the Seine River which eventually became known as Normandy, after the Northmen who settled there. He currently lives on a small farm near Eugene, Oregon, where he is working on the next volume in the Strongbow Saga series.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3246 KB
  • Print Length: 309 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Northman Books Inc.; 2nd edition (17 Dec. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GNFV0Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #69,335 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another attempt to put flesh and bones on an historical period from the dark ages. This book is a simplistic tale of a Viking boy's transition into manhood and the dramatic events which lead to his quest for vengeance, which fills the next books in the Saga. It shows, as do other books of it's type a stylised picture of Nordic life, bad people are very very bad and goodies are likewise good. The author purports to stick closely to what we know of the period. It is quite a short book with three more in the Saga already published. However a quick peek at reviews of later books suggest that by book 4 the tale has time still to run. As successive books seem to get dearer and dearer and this is not as good as other Viking books I have read, this will be my first and last of this Saga.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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