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on 8 November 2002
On a long car trip, my very cool 16-year-old son finally gave in to my urgings and started grudgingly to read this book (the only one in the car). After grumbling his way through the first page or so, he became completely caught up in it and started to exclaim aloud: "Whoa! Listen to this! Harald has just put out the Byzantine emperor's eyes!" "He just threw all the prisoners overboard so that the pursuing fleet would have to stop and rescue them!" "He just told the enemy earl to 'kiss my thin-lipped axe'!"
The saga starts with the fifteen-year-old Harald fleeing for his life through the Norwegian forest after the battle that killed his older brother, King Olaf (Saint Olaf). Harald is a historical figure, and if one-tenth of the stories about him are true, he was a towering leader and villain.
The translation is wonderful, the language is vivid, and the emotions and intelligence of these eleventh-century figures are as modern as those of any story of our own times. I can't think of a better introduction to the world of the sagas.
After this, read Njals Saga and Egils Saga!
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on 20 August 2007
This saga is a series of wars, mercenaries, plundering, raiding, razing, destructions (`islanders lost their lives there, flames devoured their houses'), murders, revenges, jealousies, cruelties, maiming, confiscations, taxations by an autocratic and vindictive king (`I kill without compunction').
But in the end, `birds of carrions follow to feast on valiant seamen.'
All in all, this tale is not a very beautiful picture of one of the masters of mankind.

Snorri Sturluson wrote a unique and original (a mixture of poetry and prose) historical document.
He builds fluently the historical events into a saga. But at the end he is very hard for his hero: `He was brutal to his enemies ... he was exceptionally greedy for power and valuable possessions ...he went to war for fame and power and he forced everyone he could into submission.'
His ultimate fate was well deserved: `and so he was killed in another king's land.'

Not to be missed by all lovers of world literature.
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on 15 April 2012
This book was exactly what I had hoped it would be. Telling the story of King Haralds adventures from his early days up to his death at Stamford Bridge in 1066. Easy to read yet fun and informative. I like these old Sagas but worry that the translations may be archaic and hard to understand. This translation, along with the notes, was ideal. The book itself was smaller than I thought, and didn't take long to read. My copy was a second hand one, and if anything was in better condition than it was described.

I would have no hesitation in buying another second hand book, and would recommend King Haralds Saga to anyone with an interest in Norse history.
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on 7 March 2011
Historically speaking, this book is importantly critical in terms of English history as well as for Nordic historical appetite. Eventually, on the one hand King Harald was the last Viking king who tried to invade England at the end of of the350 years of Vikings' bloodiest saga against English soils. On the other hand, this book had showed tentatively his(king Harald) ambitiously desires for military expeditions and his expertise statesmanship in all his heroic campaigns especially his dramatic and substantial campaign on England on 1066 before battle of Hastings.

Chromatically, this book manifested itself by thoroughly examining in details how King harald had to go through all the ordeals from his escape to Russia , then to the byzantine empire as part of The varangians mercenaries up to his repetetive invasions to Denmark until finally his last heroic battle of storming bridge againstt harold the second of Engand which had been the ultimate repercussions at the epic battle of Hastings ( november 1066)
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on 11 February 2017
Excellent, handy, portable extract from the huge tome "Heimskringla"!
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on 25 August 2015
Ok, but old version was sent
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