The Half-Drowned King (Hardback)Linnea Hartsuyker (author)
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'Lovers of epic rejoice!...A vivid and gripping read' Madeline Miller, author of the Orange Prize Winner 2012 for The Song of Achilles
'Linnea Hartsuyker brings myth and legend roaring to life in this superbly good page-turning saga of Viking-era Norway' Paula McClain, bestselling author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
Since the death of Ragnvald Eysteinsson's father in battle, he has worked hard to protect his sister Svanhild and planned to inherit his family's land when he comes of age. But when the captain of his ship tries to kill him on the way home from a raiding excursion, he must confront his stepfather's betrayal, and find a way to protect his birthright. It is no easy feat in Viking-Age Norway, where a hundred petty rulers kill over parcels of land, and a prophesied high king is rising.
But where Ragnvald is expected to bleed, and even die, for his honour, Svanhild is simply expected to marry well. It's not a fate she relishes, and when the chance to leave her stepfather's cruelty comes at the hand of her brother's arch-rival, Svanhild is forced to make the ultimate choice: family or freedom.
Drawing from the Icelandic Sagas, The Half-Drowned King takes inspiration from the true story of Ragnvald of Maer, the right hand man of King Harald Fairhair, first king of all Norway, and his sister, Svanhild, as she tries to find freedom in a society where the higher her brother rises, the greater her worth as a political pawn.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 448
Weight: 724 g
Dimensions: 241 x 159 x 40 mm
Suspenseful, intriguing, gripping!... Treachery and astonishment and surprise are always right around the corner...As with all great historical fiction, there are strong similarities to actual events. Good research is very important to a believable historical novel. This book has it. If you enjoy Bernard Cornwell, do not pass this book by. It is well worth the read! * New York Journal of Books *
Ms Hartsuyker captures the sense of saga times and saga heroes:violent but litigious, treacherous but honorable, impetuous but crafty...Like Game of Thrones, only more unscrupulous * Wall Street Journal *
Game of Thrones will be back on our screens by the time this epic Viking saga comes out, and it's a safe literary bet for those of us who enjoy a bit of Westeros action. Ragnvald Eysteinsson is betrayed by his avaricious stepfather, and in trying to gain back his rightful inheritance, he pledges his sword to a young warrior plotting to become the king. If you like your heroes noble and your struggles for power bloody, this one's for you * 24 Best books To Read This Summer from Elle.com *
A terrific historical epic...Posing thoughtful questions about the nature of honor and heroism, and devoting significant attention to women's lives, the novel takes a fresh approach to the Viking adventure genre. The multifaceted characters are believable products of their era yet relatable to modern readers; the rugged beauty of Norway's farmlands and coastal landscapes likewise comes alive. The language is clear and eloquent, and the action scenes will have the blood humming in your veins. This is how tales from the old sagas should be told * Starred review, Booklist *
A spellbinding evocation of a long-lost world of magic and blood feuds, populated by characters riddled with doubt and human failing beneath their epic exteriors * Bookpage *
Steeped in legend and myth, Hartsuyker's debut is a swashbuckling epic of family, love, and betrayal that reimagines the Norse sagas....While Hartsuyker's prose is straightforward, the plot is as deliciously complex as Game of Thrones. And, in an era so dominated by the tales of men, it's nice to see a complicated, cunning heroine like Svanhild swoop in and steal the show. Hold on to your helms and grab your shields - Hartsuyker is just getting started * Kirkus Reviews *
Making her fiction debut, Hartsuyker, who claims descent from Norway's first king, writes an absolutely top-notch Viking saga, and readers will eagerly await the next two volumes * Starred review, Library Journal *
Lovers of epic rejoice! Hartsuyker illuminates these old stories with authority and visceral detail, bringing to life the adventure, bleak beauty and human struggle that lies at their heart. A vivid and gripping read * Madeline Miller, author of the Orange Prize 2012 winner The Song of Achilles *
Linnea Hartsuyker brings myth and legend roaring to life in this superbly good page-turning saga of Viking-era Norway. Hartsuyker is fearless as she navigates a harsh, exacting and hair-raising world, with icy fjords and raiding seasons and ancient blood feuds. But the book's fiercest magic shines in the characters of Ragnvald and Svanhild, as unforgettable a brother and sister duo as I can remember in recent literature. Linnea Hartsuyker is an exciting, original voice in historical fiction, and The Half-Drowned King is nothing short of mesmerizing * Paula McLain *
Replete with exciting battles, duels, and sieges[...] this novel can stand proudly with Edison Marshall's The Viking and Frans G. Bengtsson's The Long Ships as an immersive fictional recreation of a bloody moment in Scandinavian history * Publishers Weekly *
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