Books Like The Long Ships
While they may not have actually worn horned helmets like in Wagnerian opera, the Viking era continues to be popular among authors and readers. Of course, these days, it is well known that the Vikings were more complex than the "noble savages," as which they are often portrayed in popular culture. However, there's no denying that with their characteristic longships, rune inscriptions, and Old Norse religion, these Scandinavian warriors remain fascinating. One of the genre's classics is The Long Ships by Swedish author Frans G. Bengtsson, which was first published in English in 1943. The novel is set in the later Viking Age and features plenty of action as well as some political intrigue. For more Viking-related fiction, check out the following books like The Long Ships.
by Linnea Hartsuyker
The Half-Drowned King is the first novel in the Golden Wolf Saga by Linnea Hartsuyker. It is set in the ninth-century world of the Vikings, which is steeped in legends and myth. Although it features a large cast of characters, most of the narrative focuses on two siblings, Ragnvald Eysteinsson and his sister Svanhild. Although Ragnvald believes he will one day take his place as chief of his family's lands, he is betrayed and left for dead. After nearly drowning, Ragnvald is rescued by a fisherman and makes it his goal to take revenge on the man behind his betrayal, his greedy stepfather. While her brother thirsts for revenge, all Svanhild wants is freedom as her stepfather arranges a loveless marriage for her. However, her quest for freedom might come at the cost of her family.
by Giles Kristian
Blood Eye is the first novel in the Viking adventure series Raven by Giles Kristian. It is the tale of Osric, a man ripped away from his simple life when he is taken prisoner by Norsemen from across the sea. However, Osric forges a bond with their chief, Sigurd the Lucky, who renames him, Raven. He also proves to be a natural warrior, but his skills are put to the test when Osric accepts a dangerous mission to steal a holy book from the King of Mercia. It is a mission that will take him deep into hostile lands, so the last thing he expects to find there is an English girl with a soul to match his own.
by Angus Donald
The Last Berserker is the first novel in the action-packed First Born Viking adventure series by Angus Donald. It uses the eighth century as its backdrop to portray a tale of Pagan Vikings resisting the Christian Franks trying to stamp out their believes and traditions. Two warriors, Bjarki Bloodhand and Tor Hildarsdottir make a journey south into Saxony with the goal of finding the Irminsul. This tree links the Nine Worlds of the Middle-Realm, and it is here that the two warriors hope to become berserkirs, the elite frenzied fighters of the north. Meanwhile, the newly crowned King of the Franks is fed up with the warlike Saxons and their pagan ways on his northern borders and plans to bring the light of the True Faith to them at all cost.
by Robert Low
The Whale Road is part of the Oathsworn series by Robert Low and follows the adventures of a band of Vikings on a quest for the secret hoard of Atilla the Hun. Young Orm Rurikson joins his estranged father to become a member of the Oathsworn. Onboard their Viking raider, Fjord Elk, these relic hunters undertake a mission that will take Orm far from the snows of Norway. The Oathsworn must find a legendary sword of untold value to the new religion at the behest of the merchant rulers who hired them. However, it is a treacherous mission that will lead them to the deep waters of the "whale road," and their only guide is a young girl. Finding the cursed treasure will also require a challenge that will test the bonds of the Oathsworn.
by C.J. Adrien
The Lords of the Wind by C.J. Adrien is the first book in the Saga of Hastings the Avenger about a slave boy who becomes a warlord and helps topple an empire. Hastings was orphaned as a child by a blood feud before being bought by an exiled chieftain in Ireland as a slave. It is there where he would meed the man who altered the course of his destiny by teaching him the ways of the Vikings. The Lords of the Wind is told in first-person narrative, and the author is also a historian who used his knowledge of Vikings to craft this authentic tale.
by Eric Schumacher
God's Hammer by Eric Schumacher is a Viking age novel that combines history and legend for this first installment of Hakon's Saga. The story is set in 935 A.D., where the death of King Harald Fairhair has left the High Seat of the realm open to his son Erik Bloodaxe. However, Erik is ruthless and disposes of all claimants to his throne to solidify his claim, including his two brothers. Hakon, his youngest brother, is the illegitimate son of Harald, who was sent to England, where King Athelstan raised him as Christian. Although he grew up far away from the religions and traditions of his home country, Hakon returns to the Viking North as a young man ready to face his brother and claim his birthright.
by Ole Åsli and Tony Bakkejord
Viking by Ole Åsli and Tony Bakkejord is the intertwined story of three characters, Ulv, Marcus, and Julia. Ulv is the youngest member of a Viking crew who despises him because he is not a warrior or a fighter. A terrified Ulv is on board the Viking ships that descend on a village in Northumbria where Marcus lives. Like Ulv, Marcus is only a teenager but ready to fight against the Vikings in the hopes that he buys his sister, Julia, enough time to escape. In a twist of fate, Marcus becomes a thrall to Ulv, but the two develop an unlikely friendship in the process.