Swords of Good Men--the first volume Snorri Kristjansson's Vhlhalla Saga--in is a raucous and gripping fantasy adventure set in Viking Norway, where plundering and pillaging are a way of life and creature comforts rarely exceed a mug of sour mead. To weary Viking Ulfar Thormodsson, the town of Stenvik is the penultimate stop on what has been a long and perilous journey. It has been particularly challenging for Thormodsson, who has been charged with protecting the life of his high-born cousin. Having travelled the world for two years, all he wants is to go home--but Stenvik awaits. After coming ashore, Thormodsson meets the beautiful and tragic Lilja, who immediately captures his heart. Stenvik is also home to solitary blacksmith Audun Arngrimsson, whose past hides many dark secrets. Soon, the conflict brewing between two factions of dangerous and determined men of the town threatens to sweep all of them, natives and visitors alike, into the jaws of war. As the Vikings learn, King Olav is marching on Stenvik from the east, determined to bring the White Christ to the masses at the point of his sword - even as a host of bloodthirsty raiders led by a mysterious woman sails from the north. Thormodsson and his companions will soon learn that in this conflict between the Old Gods and the new, there are enemies everywhere - outside the walls of Stenvik as well as within. Swords of Good Men features a memorable cast of original characters and is driven by non-stop action and a clever sense of humor. Kristjansson deftly and elegantly weaves Norse mythology and history with fantasy in a novel that offers not only a good dose of bloody Viking feuding, but intrigue and romance.
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