Viking Warrior

Viking Warrior

by Judson Roberts


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Viking Warrior by Judson Roberts

In 9th century Denmark, a child born to a slave is also a slave, and the property of his mother's master. Halfdan, the son of an Irish noblewoman and the Danish chieftain who captured and enslaved her, has grown up a slave in his own father's household. But the Norns, the weavers of the fates of all men, have different plans for him--although rarely do they give a gift without exacting a price. A cruel twist of fate both frees Halfdan and robs him of the mother he loves, setting him upon the path to a new destiny. But a brutal act of treachery and murder upends Halfdan's new life, sending him on the run with ruthless hunters hot on his trail.

The Strongbow Saga, an epic tale of one man's unstoppable quest for justice and vengeance told across five volumes (the fifth and final installment to be released in 2016), follows Halfdan's quest for justice and vengeance in a vividly drawn story which immerses the reader in the Viking world, and carries them from the Scandinavian homelands to France, Russia, England, and Ireland, through dangerous journeys and fierce battles, through love lost and found.

The story's setting is not the Viking world you might think you know. The result of almost twenty years of in-depth research, The Strongbow Saga not only weaves a fast-paced story filled with action and emotion, but also paints a detailed and historically accurate picture of the Vikings, revealing a highly developed culture in which honor was valued more than life itself, a society which was based on a strong belief in the sanctity of the law and the right to individual freedom, which had an impact on western history and culture which is seldom understood or appreciated today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780988922471
Publisher: Northman Books
Publication date: 04/23/2015
Pages: 308
Sales rank: 799,803
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.69(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Judson Roberts brings an extensive, carefully cultivated knowledge of ninth-century Viking history to The Strongbow Saga. He also draws on a distinguished career in law enforcement, as a state and federal criminal investigator, a prosecutor specializing in complex major conspiracy cases, and a planner and director of several major undercover operations. He lives on a small farm on the edge of the Cascade Mountains near Eugene, Oregon, where he is currently working on the next novel in the Strongbow Saga series.

Read an Excerpt

The Strongbow Saga, Book One: Viking Warrior

By Judson Roberts

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Judson Roberts
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060799978

Chapter One

A Ship

In one moment the Norns changed the pattern they were weaving in the fabric of my fate. It was a late afternoon, and I was working down by the shore beside the boathouses. All that day I'd been squaring logs into timbers, and my back and shoulders were weary from swinging the heavy broadaxe. I didn't mind the labor itself, for though I was but fourteen, I was as tall and strong as many grown men. And I enjoyed working with wood -- since I was very young, my hands had possessed an unusual skill to create with both wood and metal, a gift that had saved me from much harder work in the fields. I minded, though, that always my efforts were for someone else. I minded that I lived only to serve the needs and obey the orders of others because they were the masters and I was a slave.

As it often did, my mind wandered as I worked and I dreamed I was free -- and a warrior. I had no right to harbor such dreams, for I had lived my whole life as a slave and by rights was doomed to die as one. Yet dream I did, for my dreams allowed me to escape the reality of my life. With each stroke of the broadaxe, I imagined I fought against the English, standing shoulder to shoulder in a shield-wall with other warriors,other free men. Hrorik, the chieftain who owned me, and the man who had sired me, was in England raiding even now. Most of the free men of his estate and of the nearby village were there with him. If I was free, I told myself, I could be there, too.

My mother came down to the shore and sat, wordless, on the slope above where I worked. When her duties permitted, which was not often, she liked to come and quietly sit and observe me at my labors. It embarrassed me for her to watch me so. It made me feel like a child, and once I spoke angrily to her over it.

"I am sorry, Halfdan," she'd said. "It gives me pleasure to watch my son at work. But if it distresses you, I will stop." After that I said nothing more to her about it, for there's little enough that's pleasing in a thrall's life. I loved my mother, and would not take from her what scraps of pleasure she could find.

After a time, Gunhild, the wife of Hrorik, my father, stormed down from the longhouse and chided Mother.

"You have chores waiting," she snapped. "What are you doing here? Get back to the longhouse."

My mother did not speak to Gunhild, or even acknowledge that she'd heard. I looked up from my work and saw Gunhild's face turning red with anger. Gunhild was an ill-tempered woman at the best of times. She hated my mother because of the lust that Hrorik felt for her, a mere thrall. Her bitterness grew greater each night that her bed was cold and empty because Hrorik left her to lie with my mother. I do not believe Gunhild ever felt love for Hrorik. Theirs was a marriage built on position and wealth rather than feelings of the heart. But Gunhild was a proud woman. No doubt she felt humiliated that all who lived in Hrorik's great longhouse knew how often he fled her bed for that of a slave.

Gunhild stomped back up to the longhouse. I feared her wrath, especially since Hrorik, who sometimes would restrain her, was gone. I wished Mother would return to her chores and not provoke Gunhild so. But Mother sat silently on the hillside, staring out toward the open sea.

A strange silence hung in the air; even the gulls had temporarily ceased their cries. Every breath of breeze died and the water in the fjord turned as flat and slick as the blade of a fine sword.

A short time later, Gunhild returned, hurrying with long strides, carrying in her hand a long thin branch that she'd trimmed as a switch. As she neared my mother, she raised it high above her head, but before she could strike, Mother stood and pointed out across the water.

"They come," she said.

A longship had pulled into view around the headland of the fjord. Its mast was bare; a sail would have been useless in the still air. The oars raised and lowered rhythmically, beating the surface of the water, dragging the ship forward.

People began running from the longhouse and outbuildings down to where Gunhild stood anxiously watching the ship, the switch in her hand now forgotten. Ubbe, the foreman of the estate, whose leg was crippled from an old wound, arrived at a halting run. He carried his sheathed sword in his hand.

"It's a warship, my lady," he announced, though that was plain for all to see, even at that distance, for the ship was long and narrow, with many oars. "They could be raiders. I'll have your horse saddled so you can ride to safety if need be. We have scarcely enough men left, even if we send for help to the village, to put up much of a fight."

Turning finally to face Gunhild, my mother spoke, a strange, triumphant look on her face. "There is no need to fear," she said, in a low voice that was little more than a whisper. "Yon ship does not bear raiders. It is his ship. The Red Eagle. All day I have felt it coming. They are bringing Hrorik home to die."


Excerpted from The Strongbow Saga, Book One: Viking Warrior by Judson Roberts Copyright © 2006 by Judson Roberts. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Viking Warrior 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When the Vikings raided Ireland, they captured several women including Princess Derdrui, whom like all the prisoners was made a slave. Danish Chieftain Hrorik Strong-Axe took his needs with Derdrui leaving her pregant. She gives birth to Halfdan, but because his mother is a slave and his father refuses to free him, the lad is raised as a slave too. Over the years Halfdan dreamed of becoming a warrior like his dad, but only a free man learns to truly use weapons. When he was fifteen, the Saxons invaded and killed Hrorik. Derdrui wanting her son to live free strikes a bargain with Hrorik as he is dying she would accompany him on his death ship provided that he frees Halfdan. The clan leader agrees making his second offspring a free man. --- Already quite proficent with some weaponry especially for a slave, Halfdan undergoes rigorous training beyond that seen by anyone but may not be enough to persuade the clan, especially his half-brother Harald ,that a former slave can truly become a free warrior. Still in spite of the skeptics and his grief over his mother¿s sacrifice, Halfdan puts his heart into achieving his goal of acceptance as a free warrior. --- The first Strongbow Saga tale, VIKING WARRIOR, is a vivid look at the Viking culture during the Dark Ages through the efforts of a teen to become an accepted warrior. The story line is extremely graphic not trying to dumb down or hide abuses from the targeted audience, high school teens. Thus historical fiction readers of all ages will appreciate this deep look at a bygone way of life in which the flow of blood is the norm. --- Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so cool. The best historical fiction book I ever read. Can't wait for the next one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. I really loved the action involved.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book! There was a lot of action and it had a good plot. I can't wait for the next book in the series to come out!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It's a must read if your into history. I loved how Roberts was able to describe what vikings did and how Royalty lived. The story plot kept me reading non-stop. I just can't wait until the next book!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cannot wait for book 5. All of the readers in our family love this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Still_Reading_KidLit More than 1 year ago
Are you seeing all these reviews? Five stars is dead-on. The books were badly mis-marketed so they missed their best audience--any lovers of history, fantasy, coming of age adventures, Arthurian legend, Shakespeare, Beowulf, Braveheart. Yes, an epic, a rousing read. Fans are dying for Book 4. Read this one and you will be among them!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sarah Yeries More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Great for any viking or historical fiction fans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read ALL the time!I love a well written book. Reading so often can be difficult becasue I can figure out every ending and predict almost every out come, But in this series it felt fresh and held my attention. These books are fun, fast paced, and packed with action and of course some love. Both my sister and I had so much fun reading the series. I started looking for the next one but it looks like he hasn't had them published.....
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Gabriel_Rose More than 1 year ago
If you are a history major, like myself, or just love the manly world of vikings, GET THIS BOOK. In fact, get the whole series (there are 3 so far). I couldn't put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago