“The Eye of Odin” -an extraordinary epic novel of the Viking age

Posted: October 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

The story of my fascination with Vikings started one day ,while I was recovering from the surgery that was meant to diminish the effects of my Cerebral Palsy.I was sore,so I decided to spend some time online,trying to avoid focus on my pain.As soon as I opened my instant messenger ,I was greeted by my cousin (a huge heavy metal  fan) ,who wanted to know how I was feeling .Completely forgetting the purpose of my time online ,I typed out MY LEG HURTS!!!!! in caps.All I knew then was that my leg hurt,and out of cowardly selfishness,I wanted everyone to bear witness.

The reply of my cousin Rudy was : ” Ya know,man,you should be more of a warrior!” I felt awkward.I was in the mood of a bear with a sore head and he wanted to talk about warriors?

I asked him what the heck he meant by that and he replied by telling me to type in “Manowar” on Youtube 

For those unfamiliar,Manowar is an American heavy metal band highly influenced by Norse mythology .

I did what he had asked me,still wondering how Manowar would help me forget about what I was feeling. Then ,as I listened to their songs,I realised that they were mostly speaking of the fierce courage that Vikings displayed in battle and their honour to die on the battlefield.

Again,I felt awkward. I was thinking “Hold on a second! These men weren’t afraid to die,and I’m crying oceans over a sore  leg,which the doctors told me was bound to get a lot better? This isn’t quite right!”

Thus,my fascination with the brave men of the North grew day by day and I began to try using their mentality in my quest to struggle with my condition.I became more and more interested in their daily life,their culture,their myths….Shortly,everything connected to them.I needed more than just music for insight ,but I didn’t want dry ,scientific books.So,I vowed to myself that I’d one day read an epic historical novel that would do justice to the warriors I sought to know.I googled the words “viking historical fiction” and that’s how I came across Mr.James Richard Larson,author of  “The Eye of Odin”,a novel set in the Viking age,centered around the figure of Erik Thorvaldsson,remembered throughout history as Erik the Red.Naturally,I was fascinated by the subject and I contacted the author,expressing my fascination with the subject and my wish to know more, which eventually granted me a signed copy  of the book.A great honour indeed.

I’ll cut to the chase and try to sum up the book as good as I can.

 

Thorvald Asvaldsson,Erik’s father,a Viking chieftain,gets involved in a religious conflict with one of the Christian King Hakon’s men.The conflict ends with murder,the Christian man is killed ,and Thorvald gets banished from Norway to Iceland.Legally,the punishment should have been conviction to death,for the murder happenned during a sacred Norse festival,which means the life taken leads to another death.But the king ,being a Christian,decides to banish Thorvald and his family,together with the powerful priest of Odin,Ragnar.

Vikings become an enemy to be reckoned with for Christians,as they do not wish to turn their back on their old ways and worship Christ.Therefore,they start burning churches,killing priests and raiding other Christian lands in coastal Europe.

Ragnar,the priest of Odin foresees the fact that Erik’s name shall be remembered throughout history ,but he will commit the transgressions of his father.Indeed,Erik becomes a famous warrior and sailor,whose deeds bring glory to his name and fear to his opponents,but eventually he gets banished for the murdering of some Christian nobles.Sounds familiar?

After 3 years of banishment,he returns from Greenland eager to show everyone at home what he had found,and he gets shipwrecked to the New World together with his crew and Wolfgar,the son of Ragnar ,Odin’s seer.

If you want get a good taste of what it means to be a Viking,and an absolute page-turner “The Eye of Odin” is the right choice .

Kudos,Mr.Larson! Great job and an ocean of thanks!

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Comments
  1. Jim Larson says:

    Great review, Alex!

    Very much appreciated!

    There will be more Viking books coming in the future!

    Jim Larson

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