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4.6 out of 5 stars
46
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 17 May 2017
I love Terry Jones's prose. This is his second book I've bought for my children and it has delighted us.
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on 24 August 2017
Great book
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on 15 January 2017
Arrived quickly and was what I expected
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on 26 September 2004
Eric the viking reads like a traditional icelandic or Norse saga, if you want heroes, strange beasts, wierd goings on and falling off the edge of the world; then this story is for you. Young readers would need to be competant or enjoy the challenge of reading quite a difficult text. This is an absorbing story for those who are prepared to suspend their disbelief and enter the land of legends. File next to Jason and the Argonauts or Kevin Crossley-Hollands' Norse Myths.
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Despite Terry Jones' famous association with Monty Python, this is not a Monty Python treatment of the Viking Sagas. It also is not intended to be a recapitulation or reworking of the Viking stories for the adult reader, although it is informed by Jones' scholarly interest in the source material.

What Mr. Jones makes clear at the outset is that this work is intended to acquaint young readers with the excitement, adventure and majesty of the tales of Iceland. In this, it seems to me that the author has succeeded admirably. The stories are told in a crisp and clear style, with just a touch of the ambiguity and mystery that informs so many myth cycles. There is physical adventure, battle and bravery, but also human frailty and doubt as Erik and his men embark on their perilous sail into the unknown. As is fitting, there are plenty of enchantments, monsters, dragons, and magics of all sorts.

This is ripping stuff, and the balance between straight adventure and human emotion introduces the young reader to both the obvious attractions and entertainments of mythical stories and the more subtle rewards of reading and thinking about great odysseys.

Because the book is constructed as an interrelated series of short chapters it can be read through as a single episodic tale or broken up for bedtime reading or to suit the convenience or skill level of a younger reader. However you approach it, I can't think of many other books that approach mythological material in as entertaining and accessible fashion as does this book. It quite deserves the accolades it has received over the years.

Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
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on 7 August 2009
This story is set in Scandinavian Viking times. The main character is Erik who is a brave and bold Viking. After listening to his father's stories, Erik decides to go on a journey to find the island where the sun goes at night. He has told his wife that if he doesn't find the island, he'll never sleep in his own bed again. Erik starts his journey in Scandinavia. During his saga, he has many adventures, e.g. fighting dog fighters, arriving at Talking Valley where everything talks and helping a giant.

My favourite character is Sven the Strong because he helps Erik a lot. He has very good tactics in fighting and listens to people's ideas.

The story had no weak bits. I read it at a steady pace but it was one of my favourite books. Thank you mum for buying it for me!

I think that this book is suitable for ages 8 and upwards.

(Gopal - Aged 8)
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on 9 May 2016
I read this book as a myths and legends obsessed child and recently rediscovered it with my 8 year old daughter who is thoroughly enjoying having it read to her (I think she might not be up to reading it on her own yet). She also loves the Greek myths and legends so if that's the sort of thing your child is into then this will be a good pick. Probably suitable from school year 3 up to year 5/6 kids. Great fun, but some scary bits that make it unsuitable for younger children (unless you have pretty resilient 7 year old - my daughter is more easily scared than some of her peers). Read and enjoy some quality writing for children, it's a great story.
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on 13 June 2010
We are on the second reading of this book now with my 4 year old son. He absolutely loves it, can remember what happened in the chapters first time round and tells me before we read them. It's brilliantly written, the language not too hard but not too easy either. The length of the chapters is perfect 'bedtime story' material, especially as he likes quite a few books before bed. I would definitely recommend this, an excellent 'non-twaddle' children's history/fiction book.
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on 31 January 2006
If you're a parent who likes to read to your children this is an ideal book. You can tell Jones has children of his own because he has written a book perfectly suited for reading aloud. The chapters are all quite short and each one is an individual tale within itself, which makes it an excellent book to read to your children at bedtime. It is also quite an entertaining book. My son loves history and is interested in Vikings so this book was a big hit with him.
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on 11 April 2007
I rediscovered this gem only recently when hunting in my parent's loft and it brought back a flood of happy memories. When I ordered this book as a tyke through a school bookclub, aged just 6, I was unbelievably excited to receive it and I must have read it dozens of times. It's still just as good and has everything a child's book should - scary moments, heroic deeds, characters you care about, a wicked central baddie and some really terrifying creatures. I had the hardbook version of old, which featured tremendously atmospheric illustrations. I hope this version has maintained them, because they really add to the book.

If there is a criticism, it has to be that there's very little humour in the book, but I guess it's unashamedly one for the boys. When I've got tykes of my own, this will be essential bed-time reading for them.
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