Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Road to Vengeance

The Road to Vengeance by Judson Roberts
This the third book in the Strongbow Saga. 15 year old Halfdon is a newly freed thrall. His mother was born in Ireland to a royal family, but was captured in a Viking raid. His father Hrorik was a Viking chieftain. Halfdon was granted his freedom at his father's death bed. Harald and Sigrid Halfdons half siblings accepted him into the family. Harald an experience Viking warrior was training Halfdon. The two became very close. While visiting land Hrorik left for Halfdon they were attacked. Harald's men were unprepared. The attackers promised the children, women and thralls would not be hurt. The attackers went back on their word, everyone was killed.

Halfdon was spared only because Harald cleared a path for his escape. Halfdon made a vow to kill everyone involved in the slaying. In the sequel Dragons from the Sea, Halfdon joins a Viking crew to gain experience. In the Road to Vengeance Halfdon is still with the same Viking crew. The Danes are attacking the Franks. The author does a great job of describing the battle unfortunately it doesn't start until halfway into the novel.

I love the way Judson Roberts blends Viking facts and terminology into the story avoiding the did you know factor.

"My warriors, do not fear death this day. The Gods themselves will be watching this great battle. They will look to see who fights bravely and scorns fear. Odin's shiel maidens, the Valkyries, will carry our brave warriors who fall in this day's contest to the great feast all of the Gods, and their glory will be sung of there forever. It is a good day to day."

Halfdon is a very smart young man. His weapon of choice is a bow and arrow. Halfdon doesn't react he acts, weighing the pros and cons of a situation. Even though he joined a Viking crew he still thinks for himself.

"I thought it a better day to live, but the army once again roared its approval of
Ragnar's words.

I enjoy the Strongbow series. I loved the first book, Viking Warrior its always a go to recommend especially if the customer is a fan of the Rangers Apprentice series. In the back of each book the author has a list of characters, glossary and historical notes. I only skimmed the historical notes but I am sure non fiction fans will enjoy every word.
The Road to Vengeance goes on sale June 17, 2008

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