Anger is a pilot who always steers his ship onto rocks. It is a poor guide.
Title: The Half-Drowned King
Author: Linnea Hartsuyker
Page Count: 448 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction // Fiction
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: Harper, an imprint of HaperCollins
Release Date: August 1, 2017
Buy It: Chapters Indigo
Since the death of Ragnvald Eysteinsson’s father in battle, he has worked hard to protect his sister Svanhild and planned to inherit his family’s land when he comes of age. But when the captain of his ship tries to kill him on the way home from a raiding excursion, he must confront his stepfather’s betrayal, and find a way to protect his birthright. It is no easy feat in Viking-Age Norway, where a hundred petty rulers kill over parcels of land, and a prophesied high king is rising.
But where Ragnvald is expected to bleed, and even die, for his honour, Svanhild is simply expected to marry well. It’s not a fate she relishes, and when the chance to leave her stepfather’s cruelty comes at the hand of her brother’s arch-rival, Svanhild is forced to make the ultimate choice: family or freedom.
Drawing from the Icelandic Sagas, The Half-Drowned King takes inspiration from the true story of Ragnvald of Maer, the right hand man of King Harald Fairhair, first king of all Norway, and his sister, Svanhild, as she tries to find freedom in a society where the higher her brother rises, the greater her worth as a political pawn.
When people say can you describe a book in 3 words I usually have trouble but with The Half-Drowned King they came to me:
Historical fiction is a genre I am not fully familiar with and usually turn away from but Vikings have always fascinated me. As a teen I remember writing down all the places I’d like to visit someday and Oslo, Norway is still at the top of that list. When I picked up this book it was all over for me. I was obsessed. The characters were so well written and complicated, the setting was a dream and the plot had me instantly.
I loved how Hartsuyker did not shy away from painting the world how it was, she showed us those horrors that occurred on such a large scale in the time of Vikings with finesse and without sugar coating anything. It was raw and it was real. And I loved it.
If you want to be transported to a world of intrigue you need to pick up this one up! I can’t wait for book 2!