Viking Fire by Justin Hill
Being a very big fan of historical fiction, I was delighted when I received a copy of Viking Fire by Justin Hill. This is a sweeping story of the last Viking Harald Hardrada and I was so impressed by Justin Hill’s writing telling the story of Hardrada from his youth in 1035 when wounded in battle to the adventures Russia to the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Harald Hardrada had ambitions and that drove him from the land of his birth through the continent and being a Christian when he reached Jerusalem he spent time discovering the religious sites. He meets Kings and Queens and but also loses friends. There are battles won and lost both on and off the battlefield. This is a story told very much by Haldrada himself and with recollections. Hill has used this to great effect and makes this epic tale really flow.
The incredible research into the life of the last Viking by Justin Hill makes this book all the more impressive. Most people who love history and the story of the Vikings and of Harald Hardrada should read this as even I thought I knew a fair bit but when you read this and his recollections of his youth and his subsequent exile made me rethink my own knowledge. This is just so superbly written and told.
It was though Hardrada’s wish to return home rich and with an army and vengeance was the word being spoken of. To correct a wrong that was done many years before. You may imagine being a Viking there would be plenty of violence through his life but Hill is saying here is that Hardrada was more than just a warrior but something more, he was intelligent and bright with it. But the one thing he has a lot of is desire and determination and the will to survive and grow, both in stature and wealth.
The people and places he encounters all help to leave an impression on Harald and not giving too much away here this is a stunning telling of his life and his adventures and the bloody battles. A truly wonderful story and brilliantly told. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Thank you to for Amelia Reid the advanced review copy of Viking Fire.
Viking Fire by Justin Hill is published by Abacus and was published on 7th September 2017 and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and all good bookshops.