Monday, October 31, 2005

Viking: Odinn’s Child by Tim Severin

Author: Tim Severin
ISBN # 0330426737
324 pages

Set at the turn of the last millennium & based on the Viking sagas, Odinn’s Child follows the life & fortunes of Thorgils Liefsson, son of Lief the Lucky & Thorgunna, a mysterious Irish noblewoman with the gift of second sight. Thorgils is raised in Iceland & Greenland by various mentors who teach him the “Old Ways” even while the followers of the so-called White Christ are growing in number among his people. His travels take him to Vinland, to Orkney, the land of his birth, & to Ireland, home of his maternal ancestors, all the while learning more of the Old Gods & growing ever more committed in his devotion to Odinn.

Billed as “the stunning first volume in an epic historical trilogy” I expected something a little more exciting than what I got. Odinn’s Child was incredibly slow to start & was a laborious read from start to finish – I found myself literally dragging myself through page after page of not-much-happening when what I wanted was action, adventure & heroics.

I’m not overly familiar with the Eddas (stories, myths & legends of the Norse Gods), but I do know a little of the life of the Norse people at that time (however slight) & was sorely disappointed not to learn more than I already knew. I was not engrossed as I had expected & instead found myself barely able to keep on reading.

Not once did I feel anguish, fear, excitement or wonder at what was happening to any of the characters – I couldn’t have cared less whether or not they survived another harsh winter or the cruelty of their keepers when they were enslaved. In fact, I found myself wishing more hardship upon them if it would only add a little drama to the proceedings & make reading this worthwhile.

As a result, it took me well over a week to wade through little more than 300 pages which has to be a record for me. I didn’t even bother reading the extract of the sequel included at the end as I already knew it would hold absolutely no interest for me.

If you’re heavily into Vikings, you might get something out of this & the remaining volumes of this trilogy, but unless you can get excited over something that moves at a snail’s pace, I wouldn’t bother with this.

Poor show.

Rating: 3/10


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