The Viking Gael Saga Book 1 Author J.T.T. Ryder

Book Review

5 out of 5 stars!

"Four shields and two swords. Four men. One duel." - Asgeir

Ulf the Old has come to collect a debt owed to him by Asgeir's father. A debt that will have him and his brother forced to join a Viking crew and leave behind the family farm. The brothers request a duel in hopes that by winning they will never see Ulf again. Believing they had the upper hand Asgeir's life comes to a crashing halt when his brother is defeated!

Ripped from his home and his family to serve a Viking, Asgeir vows to avenge his fallen brother! But as he continues this unwanted journey, he's discovering a number of things. Asgeir's going to grow into a man that his father will be truly proud of, he may just have a couple of close calls and hard lessons along the way. . . 

"Speaking the truth is all we have in this world." - Ulf

This is a very good historical fiction adventure with a coming-of-age arc! The author's an archaeologist who specializes in this timeline and region but adds an artistic flare to things. I have read some of the author's other works and I have to say I love this book more! By no means am I saying the other reads weren't good, this one just really had me submerged and devouring every word!

What is honor? How do you define it or what does it look like? Asgeir's having to figure out the answers to all of those questions along with what it means to become a man! He had a rather sheltered life and an arrogant brother. Not to mention Asgeir's father is semi famous around the region. Asgeir had every right to believe that they would win a simple duel with an old man and his son. . . 

I really loved Asgeir and getting to see everything surrounding him as he moved through the story. We only have his POV, and it's in third person. He's determined to stay honorable and keeps his father in mind along with the teachings instilled in him. But as he ventures with the Vikings Asgeir finds himself questioning things. He thought he had life figured out and he may have within his hometown "bubble", but away from it. . .the rules are different.

What really draws me to Ryder's books is the fact that they are very accurate. None of this fluffy, romanticized "history" with crazy theatrics and the stereotypical Vikings with horned helmets. . . If you stop and truly think about it, how in the world would you do ANYTHING with a helmet that has giant horns on it? The metal of the helmet already has weight and then the horns would add more. The author knows what he's talking about and really keeps the reader submerged!

I was lost within the pages of the read as I couldn't put the book down! I admired how women were portrayed in this read a little more than the other books I have read from the author. The characters stay true to the time period and how they were regarded. The women Asgeir meets are fiery and intelligent some even surprising him by how they plan things. Women are able to hold land and titles within this era but are still not fully equal to their male counterparts.

This book focuses on true history and it's a bit dark and bloody. There's violence, gore, and bloodshed within the pages. Duels and battles are depicted along with language and owning/selling slaves. Mention of the importance of maidenhood and some issues that arise along with crude terms. Acts of manipulation and threats on lives. There was a scene where a MC was injured and the process of patching them up is a little brutal. Back in this time you bit down on something and hoped you didn't die from the treatment. . .

We get a little bit of "romance" within this book, it's not the focus of the story but just kind of happens. This is by no means a romantic historical fiction; the depiction of the MF action scene is very brief. Being a saga, we do have a cliffhanger that has me wanting to read the next installment! I did love the mention of mythical beings along with gods and goddesses. People of this time revered their deities very highly. 

Enjoy this immersive experience and leave behind the modern mentality! Don't forget to give the author some stars! The Viking Gael: An immersive and exciting historical Viking adventure (The Viking Gael Saga Book 1) eBook : Ryder, JTT : Kindle Store


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