The Raider Bride

Written by Johanna Wittenberg
Review by J. Lynn Else

Norway, 822 AD. Ragnhild fought a war to avoid being married off by her father like a peace cow to an Irish king. After her father’s killed by the same king, her brother Harald controls the family lands and denies Ragnhild her inheritance. To prove herself, she joins her brother in avenging their father. What her crew never expects is Harald’s betrayal and his plan to follow through with giving Ragnhild to the Irish king for a chest of silver. With Ragnhild stuck in a foreign land and her crew now being pursued by Harald’s, what could the Norns, weavers of fate, possibly have in store for them next?

Wittenberg again delivers a strongly researched, high-stakes story. Ragnhild and her crew take center stage in book three of the Norsewoman series. Sailing scenes aboard Raider Bride are well nuanced as the warriors cross dangerous seas, both as the hunter and the hunted. For this installment, we get to explore a lush Irish landscape as Ragnhild must learn a new way of life. She navigates through differences as small as mounting a horse to larger concerns like learning the language and their strange sailing vessels. I thoroughly enjoyed the cultural depth that permeates Wittenberg’s pages.

My only gripe would be Ragnhild’s treatment of those who offer her kindness as she adapts to her new home. Her stubbornness and hostile attitude went on a bit too long for my liking. That being said, Wittenberg has a talent for bringing this time period to life. This is a great series with strong characters and an immersive setting that I’ve been privileged to share reviews on. Bravo, Ms. Wittenberg!