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Bracelet of Bones (Viking Sagas #1)

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  170 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
It is 1036. Halfdan is a Viking mercenary who is determined to travel to Constantinople and become one of the Viking Guard serving Empress Zoe. He promises to take his daughter, but one morning Solveig wakes up to find him gone. Setting off in her own tiny boat, she is determined to make the journey from Norway to the breathtaking city. Her boat is washed up, but Solveig ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Quercus Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30)
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Barb Middleton
Jan 21, 2015 Barb Middleton rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, vikings
Solveig is with her Viking father, Halfdan, in a valley in Trondheim, Norway, where he is telling her of his experience in the great the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030 when King Olaf died and Norway fell under Danish rule. Halfdan and another man saved King Olaf's son, Harald's life and promised to serve with him in the Varangian guard in Miklagard when he sent for him. The Varangian guard were personal bodyguards to the Byzantine emperors. Harald sends for Halfdan many years after the battle, and ...more
Something a little different about the Vikings: in the 11th century Solveig travels from Trondheim to Miklagard [Constantinople] to reunite with her father, Halfdan, who is there part of the Varangian Guard. She passes Ladoga, Kievan Rus, Black Sea, then her destination and reunion. The author must have researched thoroughly, but the story and characters fell flat. And how on earth could a young girl travel such a distance and in dangers--such as rapids on the Dnieper River--without some male ...more
Mar 10, 2014 Deniz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: love, historical
I am not quite sure what's going on with me lately, but I keep on having completely wrong exceptions of books. The Bracelet of Bones is no exception. Although I did read the blurb before requested the ARC, for some reason I kinda had in the back of my mind that this was a fantasy. Ok, so admittedly knowing my memory for names is bad at best, I should have known that I wouldn't necessary connect the right name with the right blurb. But see books come with covers, so I remembered the pretty cover ...more
This isn't as good as the others I have read by this author, but I still quite enjoyed it and patiently looking forward to the next one.

Bracelet of Bones is the first in what will be a trilogy.

It is about a journey via water from Norway through to Russia and then into Istanbul, Turkey. Only it was all different back then - Istanbul is known as Miklagard and a tribe called the Rus controlled the part of modern-day Russia where Kiev is found. There was the Byzantium empire and of course the Vikin
Lisa Landreth
May 21, 2014 Lisa Landreth rated it did not like it
Bracelet of Bones by Kevin Crossley-Holland is a YA (Young Adult) novel and falls in the category of historical fiction. The story is about Solveig who's a changeling and whose father, the only true parent she has, leaves on a mission to Constantinople without her. Solveig is heartbroken because her father promised to take her on the trip too. So, being the strong-willed person she is, she decides to follow after and meet up with him. Solveig hitches rides on different boats with a variety of ...more
Apr 30, 2014 Silea rated it liked it
Shelves: vine, arc, fiction
I took a Childrens' Lit course in college, and one of the first things the professor told us is that if we re-read the books we loved as a child, we'd hate them now. Little House on the Prairie was his favorite example, a series of books that young girls (at least used to) read and love, but going back as an adult, they're nearly impossible to get through. The focus is narrow, and very concrete. It's nearly an instruction manual at times.

Bracelet of Bones is in a similar vein. It's the story of
Alicia Huxtable
May 25, 2015 Alicia Huxtable rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A definite must read. This book had me hooked from chapter 1.
Solveig's father Halfdan, has left to follow a fellow warrior to Miklagard and left Solveig with her step mother and half brothers. But she wants to be with him.
So she follows him, by sea on a ship of Vikings. She deveols friendships with some of them especially the captains slave girl who is pregnant with his child.
Loved this book!!
Nov 12, 2016 SFF rated it did not like it
I didn't really enjoy this book I thought it took too long to actually get into the story but apart from that the basic plot was alright.
Mar 12, 2014 Leeanna rated it did not like it
This review originally appeared on my blog,


From the summary, BRACELET OF BONES sounds awesome. After being left behind by her father, fourteen-year-old Solveig travels from Norway to Miklagard (Constantinople) by herself. For a girl who has never gone to the local market by herself, the prospect of such a journey is overwhelming, but Solveig loves her father and wants to be with him.

The author takes something that should be super exciting -- Solveig’s journey -- and makes it sup
Vickie Wilson
Mar 07, 2014 Vickie Wilson rated it liked it
I was expecting/hoping for this book to be a gripping tale of a young girl's journey from her home to Miklagard, with many dangers along the way, the sort of book that I would stay up late reading, wanting to find out if Sloveig managed to find her way to her father. What I did get was rather bland. There's plenty of dangers and Sloveig nearly dies at one point but something went wrong and I found myself bored at times. I think the problem was that with these sort of stories I usually expect ...more
Dec 10, 2011 Alison rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Glorious. The story of Solveig, a teenage Norse girl, who travels to find her father Halfdan, a member of Empress Zoe's guard at Miklagard (Istanbul). I found the details of the journey fascinating, following Solveig's travels on the map at the front of the book. Also the clash of cultures- Christian and pagan beliefs, at a time of great upheaval in the Viking way of life.

Crossley-Holland is brave enough not to resort to a common children/ young adult device of dressing girl protagonists up as b
Munro's Kids
Feb 25, 2015 Munro's Kids rated it really liked it
Probably the first thing to note about this book is the author's style. It is poetic but also sparse and there is a sense of distance between the reader and the characters. The second thing to note is that Solveig, the main character, does not make her journey alone. She is taken onto a merchant vessel fairly early on and the book focuses on the dynamics of the characters, their various worldviews and the practicalities of their lives rather than on exiting episodes and strange sights.

Non of thi
Emily Morris
Feb 20, 2014 Emily Morris rated it liked it
I love Norse mythology. The Vikings fascinate me. There's nothing like a good historical adventure to catch my interest. But despite this being a one-sit read for me this will be lost in the pile of forgettable books.

Solveig is a young Viking girl who up and decides to travel half-way across the known world to rejoin her father. So she takes up with a ship of assorted characters of more or less interest and has various adventures along the way. And, yeah, that's pretty much sums up the book.

May 18, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
This is a tale of a young norse teenager who is told the fantastical but true tale of how he saved Harald Siggurdson (Hardrada) from the flawed battle of his half-brother. Before long he is taken away with more of Harald supports but goes without saying goodbye to his daughter Solva. Solva takes it upon herself to escape her unlikable half-brothers and step-mother to undertake a most daring and dangerous journey across continents, rivers and seas to Miklagard (Istanbul) where she knows her ...more
Jun 23, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
Solveig, a 15 year old girl, has been left behind by her father, a Viking, as he travels to Miklagard (Constantinople). She doesn't want to be away from her father so she decides to go on the journey alone to meet up with him. She begins alone, but she is unable to continue that way. This brings her in contact with others as she travels through several boats towards her destination.

My thoughts:
Wow, this is rough to get through. There is very, very little that happens. In most cases, if i
Dec 31, 2013 Tiff rated it really liked it
I enjoy Marie-Louise Jensen's Scandinavian novels so when I spotted Bracelet of Bones at the library I thought I would give it a go. It is junior fiction so no deep romance in this one, but you do get a fantastic Viking story.

Solveig wakes up one morning to find her father, Halfdan, gone. He promised he would rejoin an fight for Harald Hardrada (he of Stamford Bridge fame) in Miklagard (Constantinople). Solveig had always known her father would leave one day but he had sworn to take her with him
Thomas Shepherd
From the beginning, the first book in Kevin Crossley-Holland's Viking trilogy reads like an old Norse myth or saga. The language is, as you would expect from the author, beautiful and poetic, and he captures the world and scene perfectly. Some of the imagery is familiar of some of the traditional Norse sagas I have read, or indeed Halldór Laxness' Independent People.

The story is one of a girl, Solveig who sets out to follow and find her father when he leaves on the old trade route to what is no
Crossley-Holland begins a new saga, introducing us to nearly 15-year-old Solveig, apple of her mercenary father's eye, devastated at being left behind when her father leaves to join Harald Sigurdsson in Constantinople. She vows to follow, and she does, setting off in a tiny boat and casting her lot in with Red Ottar, an imposing Viking with a mixed crew of women, children, and warriors on the beloved boat Red Ottar calls his sea-wife. I suppose the important bits about this tale are the ...more
Edward's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
Well I've gotta say I was expecting more. This book didn't live up to expectation and it wasn't nearly as exciting as it sounds.

In fact on saying that I'm not quite sure why I picked this up at the library. I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction and I can't stand realistic fiction (this book was realistic). I (usually) only choose a book if it has an element of fantasy or science fiction, this book had neither. So I don't know what made me choose this it just sort of stood out to me. But, my g
Mar 19, 2016 Kitty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bracelet of Bones was an intriguing book for me, it contained a great story line and characters that really tugged on heartstrings. To me this was almost a true story, Kevin Crossley-Holland clearly knew what he was talking about.
This is the story of Solvieg, a viking girl, her father had been summoned to work in the empresses personal guard - to Solvieg she had no choice but to follow him. Join Red Ottar and his crew as they travel to Kiev and beyond.
It was a wonderful book, brilliant in plot l
Jul 03, 2015 Nigel rated it it was amazing
Solveig's father leaves her with her step-mother and step-brothers to rejoin his old leader Harald in Miklagard. Solveig sets out to follow him, an impossible journey across half the world. Crossley-Holland is one of the best story-tellers out there, with an instinctive appreciation for the role of myth and spirituality and poetry in everyday lives. Therefore the journey is vivid and fraught and wonderful, full of living, breathing characters and sudden, horrible dangers, hidden threats and ...more
Jan 31, 2013 Penny rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Gripping children's story of Vikings.

My 9 year old loved this. It is quite gritty in places but is an engrossing read. The story follows a young girl who decides to follow her father who has left several weeks before to fight for a Viking leader. The Father heads to Miklagard - Istanbul - and the young girl follows. The journey is filled with danger from rapids and waterfalls, enemies on the banks who attack all travellers, those who try to steal children into slavery and the rescue of others.
Matilda Rose
Aug 24, 2016 Matilda Rose rated it liked it
Solveig is fourteen years old. She lives in Scandanavia. One day she wakes to find her father, Halfdan, gone. Halfdan is a Viking mercernary who longs to rejoin his friend Harold and fight in battle. Solveig decides to follow him to Constantinople in a tiny boat. She joins with a group of Swedish traders who promise to take her with them. On the way, she narrowly escapes being sold as a slave, witnesses a livig sacrifice and is bitten twice by rabid dogs. But she still believes in her father and ...more
Derek Hayward
Jan 03, 2015 Derek Hayward rated it it was amazing
I wanted a book that was well researched and based on the Viking period of history. This book provided both and had the added attraction of seeing things from the perspective of an adventurous female rather than the blood curdling antics of angry Viking warriors. It took a while to get going but once there it moved along at a pace that kept the interest.
Apr 17, 2016 Tiwi rated it liked it
Shelves: great
Mmh, I had an entirely other story in my mind. It was nice but not the best book ever written about vikings.
I couldn't relate to the characters. They were all so far away form me. It was distracting all those time jumps.

I think it had a realistic view on the vikings, no horned helmets here. And that was a good thing. You could feel that the author knew what he was writing about.
Sep 05, 2013 Katie rated it liked it
Took a while to get going, although fantastic description (it is Kevin Crossley-Holland!). Couldn't put down the last 1/3!

Topic not covered in other books - Vikings in the Ottoman Empire, or very early Russia.

Suitable for a young? YA audience but whether they would be interested?

It is a trilogy but no hook at the end to make me want to read the 2nd part even thou I do have it!
Tessa (AlladinSane)
Apr 09, 2016 Tessa (AlladinSane) rated it liked it
More a 3,5 star for me. I liked the story and also the setting in this book. I like acient, vikings, history and this book had it all. A shame the writer didn't make the story longer, I know that would be possible. Maybe I will pick up the second part of this serie sometimes.
Jun 26, 2015 Kayla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually 4.5 stars. At times it was a bit confusing but only at the start. Really enjoyed this book so I might get the second one now.
Jan 06, 2013 Carla added it
Not a bad read, it was interesting and I enjoyed many of the characters that were met along the journey.
Kristen McDermott
Kristen McDermott rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2013
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Kevin Crossley-Holland is a well-known poet and prize-winning author for children. His books include Waterslain Angels, a detective story set in north Norfolk in 1955, and Moored Man: A Cycle of North Norfolk Poems; Gatty's Tale, a medieval pilgrimage novel; and the Arthur trilogy (The Seeing Stone, At the Crossing-Places and King of the Middle March), which combines historical fiction with the re ...more
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Viking Sagas (2 books)
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