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The Settlers of Catan

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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  1,260 ratings  ·  85 reviews
The year is 850. In the seas of northern Europe, the small coastal village of Elasund falls prey to marauding neighbors. Their food stores pillaged, women and children stolen, livestock destroyed, the villagers are left to barely survive the harsh winter — and contemplate a drastic solution to their recurring hardships: leaving the only village they have ever known.

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Paperback, 620 pages
Published November 15th 2011 by Amazon Crossing (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,260 ratings  ·  85 reviews


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Jamie
Not all fun & games in Catan... who knew the original settlers were slavers and homophobes? I was surprised at how much I was enjoying this book, though I suppose it does feature on a lot of elements of survivalism and uninhabited-island-exploration that I'm mildly obsessed with. At one early point, I even half-wondered if I was reading a book based off Agricola rather than Settlers of Catan with all the farming talk. A fairly enjoyable, if excessively long read.

However, I have my reservations w
...more
Yvette
Aug 10, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't expecting much out of this book and I was still disappointed.

The problems in this book boil down to three things:

1. The unfortunate but constant pushing of the author's own religious and other beliefs. There was a lot of potential here but everything was taken over by the author's apparent desire to write a Christianity fanfic. (Also, some creepy homophobia on the author's part that goes well beyond the realities of the setting.)
2. The characters. Most of the characters are bland, one-d
...more
Joel
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just a great book. Actually book on tape but just the same. This had the potential to be awful, but instead the author did an amazing job. It said in the prologue that she was one of the most highly regarded medieval fiction writers of Germany, and she didn't disappoint. The gist of the story is that a bunch of Scandinavians get tired of trying to scrap a living from the rocky soil and being constantly attacked. So they set off for an island that may or may not exist (sound familiar?). But the i ...more
Tasha Robinson
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I brought this one home from work seven years ago, half expecting it to be a joke, and then I never actually got around to cracking it. Recently I took it off the shelf to read the first chapter, expecting I'd be able to laugh at the idea, then get rid of it and use the shelf space. Instead, it drew me in, which is really saying something given how many times I paused to think "But it's based on a board game," or "But it's 600 pages long," or other variants on "But why am I reading this?"

The sto
...more
Denigmatic
This is really a 1.5, but I'm going to be generous and round up.

There are a lot of flaws with this book. A LOT of flaws. The author clearly has done her research on Viking civilization, but sometimes less is more. Knowing how to properly kill cattle or how ravens were used to find land? That's cool. Letting the main character rape his slave repeatedly and expecting the reader to still find him sympathetic? Not so much.

Yes, there's a lot of rape, and slavery, and questionable low fantasy writing
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Rebekah
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this novel. There were moments when I was uncomfortable reading it, but no more than I am uncomfortable reading about historical times that show an unvarnished history.

This was a hard life. I thought it had a few moments that were very much part of the connection to the game that spawned this idea. Sheep being so important being part of that, but it was integrated into the story well. I like the fact that definitions of cowardise and bravery were called into question. Is mercy co
...more
Aaron Haberman
Jan 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
"Pillars of the Earth," this is not. I mistakenly thought that this book was written sometime in the 1980s and provided the inspiration for the famous board game which I have recently took up playing. It turns out the opposite was true. Klaus Teuber contracted the author to novelize his game in the early 2000s using a general plot outline he developed. While it didn't take terribly long to wade through the novel's 600 pages, the story lacked any kind of interesting character development, while a ...more
Violet
Jul 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Just don't.
Don't. Even. Open. This. Book.
It is TERRIBLE.
Christine
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was published in English in 2011, and that's the version I read.

This book was really well written, especially for being a novel about the board game. There were lots of references that players of the game would enjoy, but mostly this is a fantastic historical novel set in about 850 about a group of Viking (ish) settlers that leave their home to find a new land. The new land is named Catan and there is a lot of drama, trade, romance, and more!

I would not characterize this as YA (as the
...more
Elke Woll
Dec 21, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I kind of lost interest when the monk schlepps a bible on his missionary travels and it can be hidden under a skirt.
A bible. An actual book. Written on parchment. Bound in leather or wood. Quite.

(Consider the value of such a treasure, to be kept in monasteries not dragged through countries, and by a young, unimportant monk, no less. The sheer size of it, and the utter uselessness for missionary work. And this from an author who took courses and presumbably graduated, in literature, language, and
...more
Vanteacher
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not expecting much as movies have proven poor translations of computer games. This use of the Catan intellectual property form the board game, both delighted and moved me.

It is rare for a book to make me feel. I enjoyed it immensely and lost some sleep and work time because of it. It's harsh and brutal and survivalist.

Some reviewers saw it as homophobic and pro-slavery. I think its interesting and thought provoking. If you wish to read something "woke" this is not it. It will offend you and del
...more
Ruth Krawczyk
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing read that makes the imagination soar!

I have never played the game, but I had heard of it, so when I found out Lee Chadeayne had translated this book, I decided I would give it a try. Once again, he outdid himself, and as a fellow translator, I can only hope I would do anywhere close as well, if ever given the chance to translate such an amazing book!
Gemma
Jul 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-home-library
Distracting and at times thrilling story about the Vikings and their polydeism against the background of ancient history and the increasing influence of Christianity. With ports, sheep, wool, wheat and wood and a great amount of strategy, fate and luck playing a fair role. ;-)
JOE TAVARES
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ionSpell binding

I was amazed how the Audible companion recording truly made for true immersion reading experience! I had my Kindle and ear buds on all weekend. I actually read 600 plus pages in just two days. I was still wanting more.
Andy Wollen
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed it. Never heard of the game it's based on, but I didn't see anything in the book that felt gam-ish to me.
Katie
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a beast. Super fun read for this avid fan of the Catan games - especially the last 100 pages when the action finally picks up.
janet cartwright
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story 😊
Babette
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook version "read". Easy listening.
D.w.
Oct 20, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Owners of the game
Recommended to D.w. by: Amazon Vine
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
I was not expecting this to be the world's greatest testament to great fiction. I've played the game on which this books is based a couple times. That feel is what I was looking for in the book. That experience is what i expected the story to cover.

In this, the book failed miserably.

Settlers of Catan as a game begins with the civilization you play competing against other civilizations. The book takes the experience and looks the other way. A third of the book is the back story leading up to the
...more
Sheila
Nov 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, cultural
One advantage of a novel sharing its title with a favorite board game is it immediately attracts the eye of readers familiar with the game. Even the cover matches the game of Settlers in this large paperback book, so I knew I’d have to read it. One disadvantage of course is that the reader comes with certain expectations. I began to read, looking for parallels with the game and wondering where I’d find them—actually, I began before I even opened the book, wondering how the game could possibly tr ...more
Alan
Dec 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I saw a book titled, "The Settlers of Catan" I thought to myself, all right, I'll bite.

This book is based very loosely on the best selling board game of the same name, anyway, when I saw a book titled "The Settlers of Catan" my first reaction was, "Oh, Please! You can't be serious!" I thought it was nothing more than some kind of gimmick to make a quick buck on a well-known brand name. But, as a long-time player of the game I thought it deserved a fair shot.

Anyway, I dove into the book. I
...more
David Schramm
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I saw that there was a book based off of one of my favorite games, it was a must buy. I had high expectations going into the reading and the book delivered. For those of you who play the board game, the book is loosely tied to it. On the other hand, those who play the card game will absolutely be delighted by the book. In a lot of cases even the pictures on the cards are incorporated into the book. The best example of this is Brigitta the Wise card picturing her with her white and black rav ...more
Mike
Feb 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I admit to begin with that I bought this book because I got it inexpensively and wanted to have it on my bookshelf. I was pleasantly surprised to find it was written by an actual novelist of historical fiction. Still, I can't really recommend it.

Things I liked about this book:

- POV narration. Different characters view the world differently, and this comes across as they become the character of interest. I should be clear, there truly is a single central character, but others are important enough
...more
Reeny
The creator of the Settlers of Catan game had ideas for a book based on the game and he found an author to write it.

I found this book to be a solid 3 stars. It was VERY long with a lot of repetition. The characters were mildly interesting but kind of 2D. I thought the book would explore the good and bad sides of both Norse religion and Christianity, but it kind of turned into some preachy Christian lit--not sure if that was the author's intention. And as with any historical fiction, it is rife
...more
Laura of Lurking
This was a long novel, but beautifully written, it never felt like it dragged. It was essentially split into 4 section:

Part 1:
Winter in a struggling village where there is not enough food after an attack. The decision to go and look for an island found by accident y one of the sailors is made.

Part 2:
The journey. The village set off on the ships facing hardships, deaths and loss, as well as growth of their spirits

Part 3:
They arrive on the island they name Catan (surprise! It is the name of the bo
...more
Beth
Jun 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction encompassing high seas with settlers, seeds and animals- seems like a batch of Noah's ark sailing ships setting out with vague directions to find an island once found before by the "main man" of the existing community. Since he is the richest man with more slaves and animals than others, he gets to be boss. Our hero is never enthralled with the "main man" and so two groups form soon after a honeymoon type beginning on Catan. We follow the adventures of each man and his followi ...more
Carol K
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know the game - yet - but intend to look into it. I'd probably rate it more like 3.5 out of 5, nevertheless I had trouble putting it down. A good saga and interesting historical links.
Heather
Aug 17, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I made myself push through to the end of this novel, but I didn't enjoy the slog to get there.

It sounded like such fun - Dark Age Viking peoples leaving the known world behind to settle a mystical new island should have made for an exciting book, especially given the tie-in to the (terrific) classic board game. Unfortunately, this didn't live up to its promise.

I'll give the writer the benefit of the doubt and suggest that maybe some of the issues came from translation... after all, not everythi
...more
Scot Eaton
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very, very good book. Surprisingly so. It takes about 100 pages to really get going, but in a 600-page book, this is forgivable. This is much more than the novelization of a board game. It is the story of a Nordic village starting over as a community. It is a story of two friends who find themselves on opposite sites of a religious war (Nordic and Christian). And it is a story about how communities grow and thrive and live and forgive. The only reason it got 4 stars instead of 5 is because of ...more
Blondebunbun
Jun 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this book up while discounted on Amazon as was curious to the links to the boardgame. While the plot initially felt like it was dragging by a third of the way through it was becoming harder to put down.

The story of Vikings leaving their land to set up a new home was by no means fluffy with a more adult content than expected. The characters were interesting and developed as the book progressed with the lead Candamir changing considerably in the face of many hard decisions.

This is a book t
...more
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