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A MAN DOES NOT DECIDE HE IS KING, THE MEN AROUND HIM DO.
I have always been interested in Vikings. They have always been portrayed as large men from the North who kill and pillage and rape as if it was there right to do so. My interest is in what made them think they had the right and what kind of race of man, loves killing other humans. I was reminded by this different take that history is written by the winners. Perhaps they were not the evil race of men the are suppose to be. Giles portrays them as traders, who are consistently under attack by sneaky British types. The British demand taxes and they hate anyone who worships any God other then their God. I understand how important religion was to early Christians, especially through my reading of Ivanhoe, but I found it hard to believe the extend in which they are blamed for the conflict with the Vikings.
This is Giles first novel and it reads like a first novel. The Vikings are made to look fairly tame. They do a lot of boosting and a lot is made of Eagling a man, but I thought the whole story moved slowly and other then trash talk, their was little substance to it. There is lots of talking then a battle, then talking, then battle, repeat. Even in the battles I did not feel the horror of killing. Nor was there much Viking history, nothing new was learned.
Harry Harrison's Hammer and The Cross does a lot better job at giving you the feel of the horrific acts of these men. Blood Eagling, making of a hemnar, quartering, tying a man's intestines to a stick and then beating him until he runs far enough to pull out his own intestines, and much more. Hemnar may be spelled wrong, but it is cutting off a man's arms and legs, but keeping him alive.
WORDS FALL FROM YOUR MOUTH LIKE DRIPPINGS FROM A GOAT'S A**.
Just a quote from the book, the narrator is pretty good, he just could not save the author from his own boring writing.
HIS HEAD IS FULL OF SPIDERS.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful
This story would have been better in graphic novel format. Take one teenager with amnesia, have some Vikings raid his village, then (presto-change-o) the boy begins speaking, cursing and fighting like a Viking professional. Never mind he's only been in this village two years and speaks the local Wessex dialect like a native. And, suspend your disbelief that the young man dumps his allegiance to his village like a hot potato. This character becomes a killing machine in a matter of weeks…and he isn't killing the Vikings that slaughtered his people…he's fighting alongside them.
The plot of Bloodeye is plucked right from two or three other sources (TV's Ragnar Lothbrok comes to mind). This novel is riding the crest of a Viking fiction wave. However, the author experienced a big wipeout in his fist two chapters.
Two swords down (except for Simon Prebble - who is a master of Anglo story telling).
4 of 5 people found this review helpful