Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Vikings: Taken (The Great Heathen Army series Book 1) by Ceri Bladen

Vikings get a bad rap and initially I wasn't happy with how brutish they were made out to be. Some reading was required and I'm shocked to admit that the Vikings probably did deserve their reputation. One of their main incentives was to 'Harvest' slaves and especially women! So the fact that our young Heroine is carted off back to Denmark as a thrall (the Nordic word for slave) was very likely.
If you're interested here is an article on National Geographic about it:
Vikings, slaves, thralls and archaeology
Viking: Taken by Ceri Bladen on Amazon.com

It must have been a terrifying sight to medieval Britons to see the Viking longboats appear on their shores. News of their raids must have spread and the local population could only hope that they would have some property and their lives left at the end of the day. This is what a twelve year old Rosfrith has to endure at the start of this book. These were brutal times for the ancient Britons, when tribes from Scandinavia saw their lands as easy pickings. Ceri Bladen describes this well and we feel the fear and hardship this girl suffers after her father has abandoned her in an attempt to safe his own skin. I always appreciate when a writer does her research and uses the political wrangling of the time to give their story an extra dimension.
Amongst all this chaos, Rosfrith finds an unlikely protector. Ubba, a chieftain in his own right but here on his brothers command, notices the spirited girl and after his clairvoyant brother tells him their destinies are linked he keeps an eye on her. As the spoils are divided, Rosfrith is claimed by Ubba and is taken to their lands as a thrall (a slave). Years pass, but as Rosfrith blossoms into an attractive woman, Ubba’s eye is once again caught. Love can be ignited under the most difficult of circumstances, but will it flourish? Glad there is a second part in the writing so I we can find out.