The Vikings

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Swords, lances, bows and arrows, axes, rifles, cannon—weapons of war fill the "Warriors of History" series, which seems to be designed to capture the attention of boys who may be reluctant to read, but are well-attuned to the constant violence and bloodshed of films, games, and the daily news. Each volume introduces a military organization or cult in four chapters, including at least one gruesome incident for thrill value. Some of the volumes are better than others, some contain mistakes—all offer unattributed illustrations (a major fault of this series) ranging from modern photographs and movie stills to period engravings, prints, or paintings. In Vikings, chapters describe Viking attacks, Viking concepts of honor and revenge, weapons, and the disintegration of the Viking culture. While abbreviated, the text is generally correct (although Harold Godwineson was not, as stated, a Viking, but the Saxon king). Photographs of statues and authentic artifacts are interesting, but the modern paintings are questionable, while a print of Eric the Red's ship is completely fantastic and an old woodcut rather amusingly romanticizes the Battle of Hastings. Readers seriously interested in Vikings might try Life and Times in the Viking World (Kingfisher, 2007) or Virginia Schomp's The Norsemen (Benchmark, 2008). Parents and teachers will need to decide whether a series focusing on war, violence and cruelty is appropriate for their children's classrooms. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560068167
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 10/18/2005
  • Series: Lost Civilizations
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.53 (d)

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