- File Size: 5546 KB
- Print Length: 476 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: WoodHaven Press (October 31, 2016)
- Publication Date: October 31, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01MCUI9RU
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,134 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Vikings of the New World Saga Kindle Edition
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Gudrid is a Viking woman, and she's the real deal. She doesn't back down from conflict, and she's not afraid to wield a weapon to protect herself of those that she loves from harm. Even so, her hand in marriage is more of a commodity than something to be won, and she must give in to the whims of the powerful men in her life. Despite the marriage to her husband, Finn, a good man, she is still unsettled, torn by her feelings for Leif Eiriksson (yes, THE Leif) that she left behind to travel with Finn to the new world.
Settling in a hostile, unknown environment and an absent husband (both emotionally and physically) leaves Gudrid open to temptations of the adoring Snorri, Finn's second-in-command. Her honest portrayal of Gudrid's desire for a protector and fight for survival were raw and moving. I loved her prickly yet strong nature.
The plot flows steadily, full of relationship struggles, as well as the ever-present fear of attack from their enemies and the true fight to survive day to day. Every aspect was realistically drawn; the actions and motivations of the characters might have seemed harsh or extreme, however, they truly fit the setting and time period of the story. Viking fought harsh, acted first, spoke later (or sometimes not at all), and I thought they were beautifully drawn here. I loved the secondary characters, especially Freydis and Snorri, and I'm so happy to know that Freydis gets her own story in book two.
God's Daughter surprised me - it made me smile, made me frustrated, and moved me. Gudrid's was a story that made my heart ache, yet made it sing. Heather Day Gilbert is officially on my authors to read list, and God's Daughter is a favorite of the year so far. I applaud her for choosing to set her story among Vikings. She brought a little-explored group to life in a realistic, fresh way.
Freydis, at once both wild and fragile, drew me into her story with her proud self-reliance. Contrary to thinking that I might not have anything in common with this warrior woman, more at peace in the forest with a dagger in hand, my heart found in her a kindred spirit. How often do we mistakenly hold those who love us at arm’s length, feeling unworthy of such a love? Not only does Freydis feel unworthy of her husband Ref’s love, but she is sure that she will never be capable of accepting the love of Gudrid’s God, He who seems to ask so much of her in return. It is much easier for her to hold on to the hate, anger and justification for her actions, than it is to admit her need. Freydis is a complex character, with many facets – the juxtaposition of warrior and wife is one she cannot seem to balance – she must be all warrior in order to never appear weak, yet recognizes that being a wife, woman and mother is as equally daunting as going into battle.
The setting is vivid and alive. The hardships, and often danger, that they faced in these times add a heightened sense of the setting and time period. The details of how the Vikings lived – how they ate, their homes, clothing and adornments, their fierce pride of family legacy and their strong love and loyalty – all are touched on here with a deft hand, providing the reader with fascinating and authentic details. No details are sugar-coated; their lives were hard, dangerous, and often violent, but I never once felt like anything went overboard or went into more detail than necessary.
Even though this is a historical novel, issues relevant to readers today, especially marriage, family and feelings of unworthiness are a vital part of this story. There is such a tension found within these scenes, compounded by the exquisite tenderness in the scenes between Freydis and Ref. My heart ached and cheered for them in turns – I admit, I haven’t read about a fictional couple yet this year that put my heart through the wringer as these two did. What a heartbreaking turn of events, yet what a gorgeous resolution readers will discover here. And while nothing ever pushed the boundaries, I did appreciate how realistically their marriage is portrayed.
Certainly for readers who liked book one, God’s Daughter, I highly recommend continuing the saga with Freydis’s story. And if you haven’t read book one yet, I highly recommend them both! Though Forest Child probably could be enjoyed as a stand-alone, I do feel that I had such a strong connection with her because I met her first in God’s Daughter. I am a huge fan of Heather Day Gilbert’s writing, especially the characters she has created and how they become so real to me. In Forest Child, she has truly outdone herself. I can easily say it is my favorite book of hers to date, and it has a permanent spot on my keeper shelf.
Gudrid’s knowledge of the Christian God is limited but she has more than enough experience with the pagan gods to know that she doesn’t want to follow them. In a culture dominated by men, Gudrid has finally chosen a husband for herself and she is committed to following him wherever he may go.
Gudrid’s character is a beautiful blend of fierce femininity and vulnerable seeker. I loved learning a bit more about the Icelandic culture of the time and the storyline is engaging and entertaining. I can’t wait to read Freydis’s adventure in the next book of the series!
I won this book in a giveaway. The opinions expressed are my own.
Freydis Eiriksdottir is one intensely fierce warrior woman. Although she isn’t able to rule her violent Viking crew with brute force, Freydis does have stealth, strength, precision, intelligence, and cunning among her arsenal of intimidating skills.
Beautiful messages of courage, redemption, healing, and love are woven throughout the lives of these formidable characters and turbulent times. I’m excited to see where this series goes next.
I requested the opportunity to read and review this book through the author. The opinions expressed are my own.
Forest Child is one of the bravest works of fiction I’ve ever read. Brimming with tension, yet laced with tenderness, this powerful saga is sure to keep you turning the pages far into the night. An ingenious blend of Viking history and timeless issues of the heart still relevant today.
Book 2 lives up to the high standard set in book 1. Truly, these are remarkable stories.