One of the fun parts of a well-written historical novel is that in addition to being swept away to another place and time, the reader actually picks up some historical knowledge about a culture or time period that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.
J.A. Hunsinger's novel, Axe of Iron: The Settlers, is one of those enjoyable novels that teaches much as it entertains. This is the story of the Northmen (often erroneously referred to as Vikings) who settled on the coast of North America more than 500 years before Columbus "discovered" the Americas.
Hunsinger's knowledge of Norse history is extensive and the novel is rich in details describing the Northmen's customs and culture. Thankfully, however, this does not bog down the actual story. The characters are strong and three-dimensional: the stuggles of leader Halfdan Ingolfsson are engrossing as he and his fellow settlers strive to carve a new life for themselves in this new and hostile land.
Now I don't know about you, but A Reader's Respite, despite a life-long obsession with history, has managed to miss out on this culture and time frame. Thanks to Hunsinger, we're now ready to strike out and settle some strange land (or at the very least start reading more Norse history):
The Reader's Respite Expedition off to conquer the New York Public Library....a strange and uncharted land.
Just do us a favor and read the book first!
Title: Axe of Iron: The Settlers
Author: J.A. Hunsinger
Publisher: Vinland Publishing Llc
Date: August 1, 2008
More reviews thoughtfully provided for your perusal:
The Tome Traveller