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Birkebeiner: A Story of Motherhood and War

by Jeff Foltz

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A mother s compulsion to protect her children is timeless and primal. War is insidious and ageless. Birkebeiner is a story of both. Two years after her son Hakon s birth, Inga is with her husband, King Hakon, in the besieged fortress of Lillehammer. The enemy, the Crozier army, is certain to overrun Lillehammer. Once the Croziers breach the walls, they will kill Inga s child, heir to the Norwegian throne and the prince who may unite the country. To save little Hakon, King Hakon asks his two best warriors to flee with his son for the safety of Nidaros (present-day Trondheim). It s a long and dangerous journey on skis through two treacherous winter valleys and over a 7,000-foot snow-blown mountain. Willing to risk everything for her son, Inga insists on going with them. For eight harrowing, exhausting days, they re pursued by a cadre of enemy soldiers bent on killing her child. Magnus, the Crozier s military leader whom the church and the bishop call King -- and who has lost his own wife and two-year-old son -- must lead the chase.… (more)
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A mother s compulsion to protect her children is timeless and primal. War is insidious and ageless. Birkebeiner is a story of both. Two years after her son Hakon s birth, Inga is with her husband, King Hakon, in the besieged fortress of Lillehammer. The enemy, the Crozier army, is certain to overrun Lillehammer. Once the Croziers breach the walls, they will kill Inga s child, heir to the Norwegian throne and the prince who may unite the country. To save little Hakon, King Hakon asks his two best warriors to flee with his son for the safety of Nidaros (present-day Trondheim). It s a long and dangerous journey on skis through two treacherous winter valleys and over a 7,000-foot snow-blown mountain. Willing to risk everything for her son, Inga insists on going with them. For eight harrowing, exhausting days, they re pursued by a cadre of enemy soldiers bent on killing her child. Magnus, the Crozier s military leader whom the church and the bishop call King -- and who has lost his own wife and two-year-old son -- must lead the chase.

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