It is 935 A.D. and the North is in turmoil. King Harald Fairhair has died, leaving the High Seat of the realm to his murderous son, Erik Bloodaxe. To solidify his claim, Erik ruthlessly disposes of all claimants to his throne, save one: his youngest brother Hakon.
Erik's surviving enemies send a ship to Wessex, where the Christian King Athelstan is raising Hakon. Unable to avoid his fate, he returns to the Viking North to face his brother and claim his birthright, only to discover that victory will demand sacrifices beyond his wildest nightmares.
I was swept up in the action and enthralled by the descriptions of Hakon's struggle. -Roundtable Reviews-
I highly recommend this historical fiction novel, both for its entertaining story and historical information. -Historical Fiction Review-
About the Author
Eric was born in Los Angeles in 1968. He is the author of two historical fiction novels, GOD'S HAMMER and its sequel, RAVEN'S FEAST. Both tell the story of the first Christian king of Viking Norway, Hakon Haraldsson, and his struggles to gain and hold the High Seat of his realm.
Eric's fascination with Vikings and medieval history began at a young age, though exactly why is not clear. While Los Angeles has its own unique history, there are destroyed monasteries or Viking burial sites or hidden hoards buried in fields. Still, from the earliest age, he was drawn to books about Viking kings and warlords and was fascinated by their stories and the turbulent times in which they lived.
He began writing as a child, though never considered it as a career until he was in his second year of international business school and living in Germany. Poor timing given school loans but hey -- better late than never. It was there that Eric began researching and writing GOD'S HAMMER, his first novel.
Eric now resides in Santa Barbara with his wife, his two children, and his dog, Peanut.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A historical novel of this caliber is a rare and wonderful thing. So well-informed, God's Hammer tells the true story of the son of a Viking king, starting with his stay in England under King Athelstan, where he found a love of Christianity. Upon his father's death, his brother Eric takes the throne by force and with bloodshed, murdering his two brother's in the process. We follow Hakon Haraldsson, as he travels home to face his brother in battle. Can he fulfill his dream of becoming Norway's first Christian King? Or will his unscrupulous brother shed more blood to keep the throne. Although this novel is inspired by real historical events, they were previously unknown by me. I had no idea what would happen, and as history doesn't have many happy endings, I was gripped right the way through. Plus I felt like I learned something too – a fascinating historical tale, that was rich in detail and brought Europe in the 900s to life. If only history at school could have been this interesting and exciting...I would have definitely not have failed that A-level. Well done Eric Schumacher.
Thank you Eric Schumacher for 'God's Hammer', a cracking bit of historical fiction. It must be a real challenge for an author to travel back in time to another era and create a believable story. Well, I'm please to report that Schumacher has nailed it. Not only was his novel exciting to read, it came across as completely authentic. There has clearly been a lot of research done by Schumacher to make the settings, language and characters of the book see, so appropriate to 10th century England, and Europe of the Dark Ages. We enter a world of great strife. The king is dead, and his ruthless son, Eric, sees to it that every heir to the throne is swiftly dispatched. Only his younger brother Hakon survives as he is in England. Hakon, must return from safety in Wessex to face his cruel brother. Can Hakon return peace to his land and to his people? What an entertaining and exciting read, that drew me in within a few chapters. Hakon's struggles with his brother and within himself, made for a really enthralling tale. Great action, great characters and beautifully described.
A fast-paced read that was over too soon. Inspired by the true story of Hakon Haraldson and his struggle to take make the throne that is rightly his from his savage brother, Eric Bloodaxe (the name says it all). Some historical fiction can be hard to read, but I found 'God's Hammer' to be a joy to read. Just the right amount of factual detail, mixed with great descriptive writing and believable dialogue, gave the book an effortless flow. The characters were a real triumph of this book, being so well rounded and 3-dimensional. I became so invested in Hakon, he really spoke to me. He was obviously a great man, but he was still human, with flaws, insecurities and goals. I really hope that Eric Schumacher writes another historical novel that takes from a real event, as this one was so, so good. I highly recommend it.