Cnut: Rise of a Viking Warrior

Written by Kyle Miller
Review by Lisa Sheehan

My name is Cnut, son of Astrid,” says the narrator of Kyle Miller’s novel Cnut: Rise of a Viking Warrior, “Some people have called me Cnut the Fatherless, though they have learned to fear me if they call me such.”

Miller’s book tells the story of Cnut from his boyhood in a Viking settlement in England, through his fighting young manhood, and brings him right to the edge of his adult life. Miller has clearly done a large amount of research into the daily life in early-medieval Viking settlements, and he overlays that research with some very well done character creation, believable dialogue, and very well realized mordant Viking humor.

Miller marvellously dramatizes both the violence and the complexity of a medieval era. We watch as a series of events big and small shape the character of the man Cnut will become, and by the time the novel ends, every reader will be eager to follow Cnut’s adventures. I recommend this book, and I eagerly await future instalments.