Hakon’s Saga Book 3
By Eric Schumacher
It is 954 A.D. and a tempest is brewing in the North. Twenty summers before, Hakon Haraldsson wrested Norway’s throne from his murderous brother, Erik Bloodaxe, but he failed to rid himself of Erik’s family. Now the sons of Erik have come to reclaim Erik’s former throne and avenge the wrong done to their father and their kin. But they do not come alone. With them marches an army of sword-Danes sent by the Danish King, Harald Bluetooth, whose desire to expand his realm is as powerful as the lust for vengeance that pulses in the veins of Erik’s brood. Like storm-driven waves, the opposing forces collide in War King; and when they do, Hakon is left with no choice but to face the tempest and resist.
Hakon Haraldsson has had enough of war and death. But, for this Christian King, an act of compassion could lead to his downfall. For the sons of his brother, Erik Bloodaxe, seek revenge and the throne that Hakon won. This time, the sons of Bloodaxe would not come alone.
War King — Hakon’s Saga Book 3 by Eric Schumacher is the dramatic conclusion to what has been the most fabulous series. Filled with complicated political intrigue, questionable allegiances and vivid battle scenes, this story, and indeed this series, would be a real treat for readers who have enjoyed Michael Hirst’s fabulous Vikings.
There is a wonderful authenticity to this story. From the historical setting to the characters themselves, there is a strong sense of realism. Hakon is not an old man in this story, but the years of countless battles have taken a toll on his health, not only physically but in a sense mentally as well. He has had enough of all the killing. He is very human in the telling.
This book left me in tears on several occasions, due to the terrible things that happen to Hakon. I am not going to give away any spoilers, but before one battle, Hakon has to make a terrible life or death choice. It was truly heartbreaking.
The story, as with all the books in the Hakon series, was well paced, and really drew me into the Viking world in which it is set. This isn’t just a book where there is one battle after another. There are softer, quieter moments, which complements the wars and the violence. I think this is a fabulous portray of Hakon Haraldsson and his life. Mr Schumacher has obviously spent many hours researching this fascinating man and the way of life during this era. Kudos, Mr Schumacher.
There is a useful Glossary of Viking words, tribes and Gods at the beginning of the book, but so engrossed was I with the story, that I did not once look at it! The Historical Notes at the back of the book was very interesting, and I am now more intrigued than ever by the wonderful, yet complex, Hakon Haraldsson.
Eric Schumacher was born in Los Angeles in 1968 and currently resides in Santa Barbara, CA with his wife, two children and dog. He is the author of two historical fiction novels, God’s Hammer and its sequel, Raven’s Feast. Both tell the story of the first Christian king of Viking Norway, Hakon Haraldsson, and his struggles to gain and hold the High Seat of his realm.
More information on Eric and his Hakon Sagas can be found on his website. You can also connect with Eric on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and AuthorsDB.