Book Title: Sigurd’s Swords
Series: Olaf’s Saga, Book 2
Author: Eric Schumacher
Publication Date: June 28, 2021
Publisher: Bodn Books
Page Length: 300 Pages (print)
Genre: Historical Fiction
From best-selling historical fiction novelist, Eric Schumacher, comes the second volume in Olaf’s Saga: the adrenaline-charged story of Olaf Tryggvason and his adventures in the kingdom of the Rus.
AD 968. It has been ten summers since the noble sons of the North, Olaf and Torgil, were driven from their homeland by the treachery of the Norse king, Harald Eriksson. Having then escaped the horrors of slavery in Estland, they now fight among the Rus in the company of Olaf’s uncle, Sigurd.
It will be some of the bloodiest years in Rus history. The Grand Prince, Sviatoslav, is hungry for land, riches, and power, but his unending campaigns are leaving the corpses of thousands in their wakes. From the siege of Konugard to the battlefields of ancient Bulgaria, Olaf and Torgil struggle to stay alive in Sigurd’s Swords, the riveting sequel to Forged by Iron.
Sigurd’s Swords is a fabulous story of warrior life in tenth century.
I didn’t know too much about the history of the Rus and the Slavs so I was keen to get to grips with this book.
The story is told through the eyes of Torgil, the noble lad charged with keeping an eye on his younger childhood friend, Olaf, the son of a Norse king, driven from his land into exile. The subtitle of the book gave me the impression that the main character would be Olaf but that was not the case of course as this turns out to be very much more Torgil’s saga rather than Olaf’s.
The two youths couldn’t be more unalike, Olaf being the likeable but selfish, slightly narcissistic trouble maker and Torgil the more sensitive, sensible and deeply passionate one. Schumacher’s portrayal of two young warriors finding their way in the world they should never have been thrown into is well done. Their destiny would have been much different had it not been for the betrayal of Harald Eriksson.
With them is the girl, Turid, for whom Torgil’s love goes unrequited – or perhaps it doesn’t, and Turid just does’t realise it. Her rejection of his love has more to do with the fact that she wants to be a warrior than it has to do with her not being attracted to him – but throughout their adventures the sexual tension between them is palpable and ads an interesting, if not steamy, romantic layer to Schumacher’s tale.
I don’t know much about the places he is depicting, but Schumacher builds his world confidently and convincingly, giving you a snapshot of everyday life in the Rus world adding in the visceral sights and smells of that time. His portrayal of Olaf’s uncle Sigurd’s warrior band and their lives, gives you that feeling that he knows his subject. His ability to create a believable environment is credit to him and the battle scenes are well written showing his extensive knowledge of Viking Age combat.
In this riveting sequel to Forged in Iron, we see intrigue, sieges, battles on the ground, and combat at sea. Also story of camaraderie and friendship, and a dash of fatal attraction. Schumacher carefully crafts his story telling with his pleasantly drawn characters, making this an engrossing, enthralling read.
Not having read the first book had put me somewhat at a disadvantage, however it was still an enjoyable historical romp and did not hinder the plot for me in anyway. Of course it would have been better to read them in order and I do think potential readers should consider reading book one first. That aside, I recommend anyone who enjoys adventures of Dark Age warriors and the Viking sagas read this.
Eric Schumacher (1968 – ) is an American historical novelist who currently resides in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife and two children. He was born and raised in Los Angeles and attended college at the University of San Diego.
At a very early age, Schumacher discovered his love for writing and medieval European history, as well as authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Those discoveries continue to fuel his imagination and influence the stories he tells. His first novel, God’s Hammer, was published in 2005.
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page:
Book link – mybook.to/sigurdsswords
Check out the previous blog stops