God’s Hammer (Hakon’s Saga 1) by Eric Schumacher
It is 935 A.D. and the North is in turmoil. King Harald Fairhair has died, leaving the High Seat of the realm to his murderous son, Erik Bloodaxe. To solidify his claim, Erik ruthlessly disposes of all claimants to his throne, save one: his youngest brother Hakon.
Erik’s surviving enemies send a ship to Wessex, where the Christian court of King Athelstan is raising Hakon. Unable to avoid his fate, he returns to the Viking North to face his brother and claim his birthright, only to discover that victory will demand sacrifices beyond his wildest nightmares. (Goodreads)
When Hakon was a child he was sent to England into King Athelstan’s court where he was raised as a Christian. When his father Harald Fairhair dies, Hakon is sent back to home to capture the throne from his bloodthirsty brother Eric Bloodaxe. Being a Christian amidst the pagans, he was viewed with suspicion. He was horrified by the Viking practice of human sacrifice but knew he needed allies if he wanted the crown so he couldn’t protest too much.
There were battles, blood and action and the story moved quickly. At first, Hakon was young, naïve, arrogant and lost among the Vikings after living so long away. He needs to learn how to be a Viking again to get support. At times I got the feeling he would have wanted to stay in England.
It was very enjoyable to read and I can’t wait to learn how he manages to hold on to the crown.
Published: Creativia (February 1, 2005)