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The Thrall's Tale by Judith Lindbergh

The Thrall's Tale (2006)

by Judith Lindbergh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3251034,071 (3.08)12
2007 (4) 2008 (3) book group (3) Christianity (2) Dark Ages (4) fiction (48) folklore (3) Greenland (26) historical (16) historical fiction (49) Iceland (8) magic (3) medieval (7) Middle Ages (6) myth (2) Norse (8) novel (5) own (3) rape (3) religion (5) revenge (4) serfs (3) slavery (7) slaves (3) to-read (22) unread (5) Vikings (36) wishlist (2) witchcraft (3) women (3)

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Quick read, not bad. Author is expert on subject, shows that in continuity. ( )
  ilex011 | Oct 12, 2010 |
Interesting topic but the narrative style made this one of the most tedious books I've ever read. One reviewer described it as "a slog" and I heartily agree. It appears that the author did her research. Unfortunately, it also appears that she was determined to use every bit of it. There was simply not enough story to supprt a 400 page novel. More, it is one of those books with very little light to brighten the darkness. ( )
  turtlesleap | Nov 16, 2009 |
A thousand years ago a warm ocean current swept against the southwest coast of Greenland, breaking up the ice. Soon after, Erik the Red came in search of a new land to settle. His eyes beheld green hills rich with grass for his cattle and deep, dark fjords teeming with seal and walrus.

Erik led other Icelandic Vikings to this land. Eventually the settlements held nearly 4,000 people. The Vikings stayed in Greenland for 500 years. This is the setting for The Thrall's Tale.

The story is told through the voices of three women.

Thorbjorg: A Seeress, worshiper of Odin and the old Norse gods, healer, and one who discerns the motives of human hearts. Twice Thorbjorg was made homeless by those who feared her power.

Katla: Born to an Irish slave. Her mother taught her what little she knew of the Christian God. Caught between two religions, she yearns to be united with a freeborn man. All her illusions are shattered when she is savagely raped by her master's son. Ever after, Katla lives her life in trepidation, trusting little.

Bibrau: Katla's daughter who never speaks. She knows that she is unwanted by her mother. Her mistress, Thorbjorg, believes that she is a gift from Odin, a repository for all the secret wisdom Thorbjorg has to teach. Bibrau is guided by a familiar spirit. Too late, she comes to the full knowledge of the evil within her.

The story of these three women depicts Greenland's Viking society as it survives violence, plague, and famine while turning from the old Norse gods to the new faith of Christ. The mystical atmosphere of this book shows that human flaws are found in all levels of society. Those with power can abuse. Those without it can succumb to false pride. Those who are injured or oppressed can hate.

And all can be misled into thinking they hold more power than they do.
  mldg | Aug 14, 2009 |
Gebeurd me maar weinig dat ik een hekel krijg aan de hoofdpersoon. Mooi geschreven! ( )
  JuliaPunt | Sep 6, 2008 |
I felt that reading this book was a slog. There is so much negativity, so much brutality and anguish and cruelty with no real justification. The author knows Viking culture, so the book is quite accurate. I just can't believe that a mother could feel such hatred for her daughter, that a girl could be so inhuman, that people do such mean and petty things just because they can. Well-researched, for sure, but horribly depressing.

Had I known this, I probably would never have picked the book up. Yet there are some happy points, too. They do get squished, though. The way the book is written is also distracting and makes the four-hundred-some pages more difficult to get through. ( )
  juliayoung | Jul 3, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Judith Lindberghprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leishman, VirginiaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Chip, for the courage to take the first step and every one since.
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Einar owns me, the runes at my collarbone speak from the carved stone, smooth with wear.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452288177, Paperback)

The mesmerizing chronicle of three tenth-century Viking women whose lives are inextricably bound by fate

The Thrall’s Tale is a masterpiece of historical fiction that follows Katla, a slave, her daughter Bibrau, and their mistress Thorbjorg, a prophetess of the Norse god Odin, as they navigate the stormy waters of love, revenge, faith, and deception in the Viking Age settlements of tenth–century Greenland. Lindbergh’s lyrical prose captures the tenuousness of lives led on the edge of the known world, the pain of loyalties shattered by Christian conversion, and the deepest desires hidden in the human heart. A book that has appeal for readers of fantasy and romance as well as historical and literary fiction, The Thrall’s Tale is an absorbing cultural saga researched and written over ten years as Lindbergh immersed herself in the literature, artifacts, and landscape of her characters’ lives and world.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:20:59 -0400)

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A tale set in Viking Greenland at the turn of the ninth century follows the intertwined lives of three women straddling the pagan past and Christian future.

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