The Northmen’s Fury. A History of the Viking World by Philip Parker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another history of the Vikings? Do we really need another one? Well, yes, if they’re as good as this one.
This is an easily digested, engrossing, reads like a novel, time-line history. No darting about, not too long on one area, no frills history. I thought it was pretty good. I thought it read like it had been written to try and bring the Vikings to a new, younger generation, though without dumbing down any. If you’ve read other Viking histories (as I have – and plenty), you’ll already know a lot of this. But there is a fair bit of new information. However – and maybe for the paperback – I would say that we now know that sunstones are a thing.
The real value of non-fiction books, I often feel, is found in the back. The appendix which lists all the references contained in the book proper. At least in general non-fiction books, like those on Vikings. Because you’re not really expected to plough through from start to finish. Well, maybe so, but they do seem written with the expectation that you’ll return to them time and time again, when something sparks your interest elsewhere and you think “I wonder if that book on the Vikings has anything on that…”
Unless, that is, you’ve found a book dealing with a specific part of the Viking story. Vikings in America, for instance.
Also it was strange, not to mention irritating, to see where I now live written as ‘Jutland.’ In case you were wondering, it’s Jylland. Home of the Vikings.