There was land beyond the western seas! Of that Leif Ericsson was sure. His friend Bjarni had seen it, with its rich green forests growing down to sandy shores. Because they lived in the tenth century, neither Leif nor Bjarni could know that one day those forests would be cleared to a make New England towns and villages.
To put his feet down on that distant land became Leif's dream, for he was a child of the wandering Vikings. Roving the seas was as natural to Leif as breathing the air of his Greenland home.
Elizabeth Janeway's The Vikings opens with a stirring episode. Until the tale reaches its end, there is scarcely a page without a feeling of excitement and high adventure.
Eric the Red, Leif's father and the discoverer of Greenland, is a daring adventurer. Brendan, Leif's Irish companion, is a loyal friend and a good man to have about when trouble's brewing. (And there's no end of that. Swords clash. Shields are shattered. Villains are defeated.)
Then, there are wild, war-whooping, rock-throwing Skraelings. These people are better known to us by the name Christopher Columbus gave them: Indians. Freydis, Leif's aunt, is a true Viking heroine, who alone and with a sword in hand, keeps a band of Indians at bay.
Numerous other interesting people fill the pages of The Vikings. They make it a fascinating tale of the first discoverers to leave written records that a New World existed on the western shores of the great sea.
Did you find this review helpful?