Title: Viking: Odinn’s Child
Author: Tim Severin
Happy Monday fellow readers. As always, Monday is book review day, and today I am taking a look at Viking: Odinn’s Child by Tim Severin.
In 1001, the young child, Thorgils Leiffson, son of Leif the Lucky and Thorgunna, arrives on the shores of Greenland to be brought up by a young woman—Gudrid. Thorgils is a rootless character of quicksilver intelligence and adaptability. He has inherited his mother’s ability of second sight, and his mentors teach him the ancient ways and warn him of the invasion of the “White Christ” into the land of the “Old Gods.” Guided by a restless quest for adventure and the wanderlust of his favored god, Odinn, Thorgils’ fortunes will take him into worlds of unimaginable danger and discovery.
Odinn’s Child was one of my first real experiences into the historical fiction genre and Viking culture as a whole.
I had been a fan of history and fantasy since I started reading, but most of the stories that I experienced and fell in love with up to this point were Ancient Mediterranean or the Middle Ages.
Knights. Dragons. Magical swords. Castles.
Demi-Gods, Ancient heroes. Magical Monsters.
These were the stories that wowed me as a young reader, because Vikings, Ancient Egypt, and dozens of other cultures weren’t brought to my attention as much.
Odinn’s child changed that though. It opened my eyes to what the Vikings were, and the Norse Mythology that came along with them.
Norse Mythology, bloody battles, and a brief glimpse into the world of 1000s Europe, Odinn’s child is the first volume in the Viking Trilogy and all 350 odd pages will leave you wanting more.
The story follows a young boy, Thorgils Leiffson, the son of Leif the Lucky and Thorgunna as he arrives in Greenland to be fostered by a young woman – Gudrid.
Thorgils is a quick witted, intelligent, and very adaptable character that has inherited his mother’s ability of second sight.
Thorgils, who is basically orphaned, is raised by various mentors during his time in Greenland. They teach him the ways to worship the Norse Gods, along with their ancient customs, and warn him of the ‘White Christ’ that is making its way into the land of the ‘Old Gods’
Thorgils has a sense of adventure and looks to Odinn as his favoured god. Death, battle, disease, execution, and shipwreck are just some of the adventures that await Thorgils in Odinn’s child.
Severin does a good job of giving readers a steady look into Thorgils progression from a boy to a man.
He learns from several mentors, about many different things, but it never seems rushed, despite being contained within 350 odd pages.
The look into the Viking culture and the spread of Christianity into their lifestyle is an interesting plot for the book.
It’s not the major plot-line, but it nicely compliments the story and helps drive it forward by introducing new conflicts and characters.
Historical fiction isn’t a genre that I have delved too deeply into, but I want to get into the genre. I still have my copy of Odinn’s child from when I read it as a young teenager, and I might read it again to re-experience a series I loved as a kid.