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Viking 1: Odinn's Child: Odinn's…
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Viking 1: Odinn's Child: Odinn's Child No. 1 (edition 2005)

by Tim Severin

Series: Viking (1)

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254845,069 (3.5)4
Member:soliloquies
Title:Viking 1: Odinn's Child: Odinn's Child No. 1
Authors:Tim Severin
Info:Macmillan (2005), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:1/2
Tags:historical fiction, borrowed from floriferous

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Odinn's Child: The Heroes of the North Live On (Viking Trilogy) (No. 1) by Tim Severin

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Really good book, thoroughly enjoyed it. Well researched and well written. Looking forward to picking up the others in the series. ( )
  Speesh | Mar 29, 2014 |
You can't fault the research, but the storytelling was poor. Abandoned. ( )
1 vote soliloquies | Nov 28, 2012 |
This is a well-researched book, but I found it a little repetitive and hard work in places. It was slightly annoying that the book ended just as the main character was on the next leg of his adventures, but I guess this is to make you buy the sequel. ( )
1 vote floriferous | Aug 29, 2012 |
I am a little devided when it comes to this book. The beginning I found to be very slow and repetitive. Thorgills descriptions of Vinland seem to be all the same. The stories he tells aren't that exciting and the characters that are protrayed in the book all seem to miss a certain amount of depth to make them believable.
The book really started accumulating some more 'narrative speed' after Thorgills description of the battle only to fall flat again when he flees from the monastery and meets Eochaid.
I don't know what to make of it. I am curious to find out how defender of the Old Ways Thorgills ends up as the White Christ monk Thangbrand in the beginning of the narrative, but I am hoping that the sequel to this book (Sworn Brothers) is much better, or I won't even bother to read the last part of the viking trilogy! ( )
  Moriquen | Jan 29, 2012 |
Set at the very beginning of the last millenium, where Vikings ruled the Northern Seas, we find Thorgils, son of Leif Erikson and a mysterious Irishwoman named Thorgunna. Orphaned at a young age, he is raised by various mentors in Iceland, who teach him the ways of old, and warn him of the invasion of the "White Christ", as Christianity is slowly, but surely advancing to the North. Still as a child, he travels to Greenland, and onwards to Vinland, now a historical site in Newfoundland. There he witnesses a massacre which wipes out the entire settlement, and is forced to return to Iceland, only to be caught up in a violent family feud. He then sets foot in Ireland, only to get into yet more trouble: he becomes a prisoner of war and sold as a slave.

The first of a trilogy, the novel is written as if it were an autobiography; as such, an old man is writing it from an Irish monastery. However, despite all the best intentions, it falls spectacularly flat. While Norse society of the time is well described, and I particularly enjoyed the rivalry between paganism and Christianity, it all feels very unidimensional. At one point, the narrator and protagonist describes his (supposedly) most profound romantic relationship in only a few pages, and never mentions it further on.

The supporting characters are very hard to get attached to, since they virtually have no personality, despite being essential to Thorgils' development. Events are depicted as mere facts, without much structure, as if the book were a quilt rather than a story. However, the interweaving of Norse, Irish and Christian mythology was rather interesting, as they all clash and, at the same time, interact beautifully with each other. It was amusing to see what the Vikings, the Celts and the Christians thought of each other, right when a religious shift was actually happening.

Regrettably, the pace never really picks up, much less reach a peak, which made it very difficult to become engrossed in, especially when it ends where you would expect action. The narrator basically leaves you hanging there, wanting more...yet not. And at barely more than 300 pages long, little description of locations and events is given, and the vocabulary is very modern for one who is writing about his life in the 11th century.

I tried to like it, I really did. Before reading the book, I fully expected to read the second, and then the third. Unfortunately, Tim Severin's first fictional novel didn't pass the test.

2.5/5 ( )
  kalyka | Jun 15, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330426737, Paperback)

In 1001, the young child, Thorgils Leiffson, son of Leif the Lucky and Thorgunna, arrives on the shores of Greenland to be brought up by a young woman—Gudrid. Thorgils is a rootless character of quicksilver intelligence and adaptability. He has inherited his mother’s ability of second sight, and his mentors teach him the ancient ways and warn him of the invasion of the “White Christ” into the land of the “Old Gods.” Guided by a restless quest for adventure and the wanderlust of his favored god, Odinn, Thorgils’ fortunes will take him into worlds of unimaginable danger and discovery.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:20 -0400)

Set in an ancient Viking world full of brooding Norse mythology and bloodthirsty battles, this is the first volume in an epic historical fiction trilogy.

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