The Viking Priest: A Saga of Fate, Faith, Adventure, and Love

Written by Linda Kay Dahlén
Review by J. Lynn Else

Fleeing from home after his father’s death, Brand travels from Sweden to England. He wants to learn more about the god who offers forgiveness and love. The gods from his homeland demand blood and sacrifice, claiming the life of his father. He arrives at a monastery and learns of the White Kristr. Eventually, Brand becomes a monk, and his mission work takes him to faraway lands where he meets dynamic people and cultures. Many times, the road becomes arduous. Will faith be enough to help Brand overcome public humiliation, imprisonment, slavery, and being stranded in an unknown land?

This story is epic in scope, encompassing multiple countries around 1000 AD. I was impressed with the amount of research infusing the varied cultures and landscapes. Architecture, clothing, technology, medical practices, religion, and socioeconomics are all richly brought to life and will keep readers engaged. Brand crosses paths with historical figures including Erik the Red, Olaf Trygvasson, and Leif Erikson, to name a few. The map at the front of the book was greatly appreciated, illustrating the breadth of our main character’s travels.

This is largely a story of faith in the Christian God, and Brand is challenged throughout the novel in deeply spiritual and emotional ways. Dahlen is mindful of the details and does a great job reflecting poignantly on the journey of Brand’s life. Be prepared for adventure, love, sacrifice, and the making of a legend as one man seeks to spread the love of God throughout the world.