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*The Strongbow Saga, Book 1: Viking Warrior* by Judson Roberts - tweens/young adult fantasy book review



The Strongbow Saga, Book 1: Viking Warrior
by Judson Roberts
Ages 12+ 368 pages HarperCollins June 2006 Hardcover    

Quick – someone contact the producers for The Lord of the Rings - this book is for them. What a fantastic story, loaded with facts and historic knowledge; this is one of the best books I have read in some time. Readers of The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer will devour Judson Roberts' new release, Viking Warrior.

Viking Warrior is a creative historical fiction set during the 9th century prior to the expansion of Christianity – this is the era of the Vikings. This 368-page novel, the first in the Strongbow Saga, will keep readers glued to its pages right to the end with its story of sacrifice and of brutal betrayal – here the hunter becomes the hunted, and righteous anger leads to vengeance.

Born as a slave, Halfdan Hroriksson knew he came from royal blood - his mother was an Irish princess while his father was a Viking Chieftain – but he did not know he was a product of love. Halfdan is no ordinary slave; gifted with a sharp mind, he is also a skilled hunter and metalworker.

A great woman’s sacrifice awakens recognition of Halfdan’s true heritage, and he finds himself accepted by the Viking clan as the son of their leader. Unaccustomed to royal life, Halfdan is forced by the memory of his mother’s gift to reach deep inside himself to find the strength to accomplish much in a short time. Halfdan had been set apart from others all of his young life, and this separation helps him weather the intense battles and changes ahead of him.

Actual events, authentic Viking names, historical figures and real battles are incorporated in Viking Warrior with creative flare. Intensely realistic and sometimes gruesome battle scenes are blended with historic clothing, weaponry, fighting styles, boat designs, quiet village life and religion.

Judson Roberts has built a website ( to support the Strongbow Saga with articles about the Viking culture. I was shocked to learn how far they traveled, the countries they discovered, and the cities they founded – huge centers today, such as Dublin. Remnants of their civil law remain with us today in the foundations of our legal system. A huge influence on historical events and warfare implements, these people were not only honor-bound adventurers and warriors; the Vikings were also crafty merchants and gifted artisans with deep religious beliefs.

Roberts, a descendant of Vikings himself, has been involved in criminal investigation for most of his career. There is no doubt that his passion for Viking history is fueled by the skills he employed in his career.

Viking Warrior has certainly earned a position on my personal bookshelf, indefinitely, beside other favorites. I have no doubt that this novel is destined to become a bestseller and look forward to the next book of the series.

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  Lillian Brummet/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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