The White Raven
Viking lord Orm Bearslayer has spent the last six years seeking fortune, and now he wants to settle down on his farm. But his enemies have heard of a fantastic treasure buried across the steppes, and only Orm knows its exact location. In the race to save members of the Oathsworn who have been taken captive and tortured for information, Orm and his men encounter a nine-year-old prince with the mind of a sage, a band of warrior women sworn to protect Attila’s grave, and a host of greedy men who will do anything to claim the treasure.
The White Raven is the third in a series of Viking adventure tales but stands alone as an entertaining story. I found the beginning of the novel tough, as I had little previous knowledge of the setting and had not read the first two novels. Also, the number of foreign terms, names and idioms to master is daunting. That being said, the effort I made was well worth it.
It is clear that an incredible amount of research has gone into the writing of this series. Mr. Low’s historical note at the end is quite thorough. He also has a comprehensive glossary on his website, and his blog is full of interesting bits about Viking life. Many of the details in The White Raven are so specific that all of my senses were engaged in each scene.
The best parts, however, are the stories within the story, particularly those told by Olaf Crowbone, the young prince rescued by the Oathsworn. With them, Low weaves Viking folklore into the novel. Not only do they give it an authentic feel, they are wonderful tales.