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A Brief History of the Vikings (a review)

A Brief History of the Vikings book cover

Although A Brief History of the Vikings: The Last Pagans or the First Modern Europeans? is nonfiction, it could easily be a wellspring of inspiration for countless novels yet to be written. Recognizing that their mythology and legend have already invaded many cultures – both traditional and pop – the rest of the Vikings' story is a mostly untapped gold mine of true-life intrigue, betrayal, conquest, and defeat. Imagine, if you will, George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones series without the dragons, three-eyed crows, white walkers, and dire wolves, and you basically have the history of the Vikings. The parallels to the Lands of Ice and Fire being almost endless, I have little doubt that Martin knows quite a bit about the Norden Vikings and their impact on Europe, especially King's Landing – I mean, the United Kingdom.

If you are the type of person who simply does not like history, this book is not for you. But while the book provides its fair share of historical dates, key battles, and who was begatting and marrying off who's royal offspring, it certainly isn't any harder to follow than Martin's epic series. Of course, if you HAVE to have mystical beasts in your reading...there are those wonderful Viking dragon ships.

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