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The Golden Wolf

(The Half-Drowned King #3)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  475 ratings  ·  84 reviews
The fates of Ragnvald and his sister Svanhild unfold to their stunning conclusion in this riveting final volume in The Golden Wolf Saga, a trilogy that conjures the ancient world with the gripping detail, thrilling action, and vivid historical elements of Game of Thrones and Outlander.

Ragnvald has long held to his vision of King Harald as a golden wolf who will bring peace
ebook, 448 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by Harper (first published August 13th 2019)
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Amy Imogene Reads
This was a superb novel. It was well done and I loved reading it. But I did not like some pretty big things. (This review is long, sorry not sorry).

Writing: ★★★★★
Worldbuilding: ★★★★★
Historical accuracy and flair: ★★★★★
Satisfying character arcs: ★★

So first off, this is the third in the trilogy and filled with spoilers from the first novel, The Half-Drowned King, and the sequel, The Sea Queen. Please stop and read the reviews for those two before reading ahead if you don't want soft spoilers from
1) The Half-Drowned King ★★★☆☆
2) The Sea Queen ★★★☆☆

"I will make a song of it, and like all songs it will be mostly pretty lies, to distract you from the uglier truth beneath."

It's difficult to rate this book, because I'm giving it the same rating as the two others in this trilogy while it's my least favorite. The story was still great, with good writing and a solid plot, and I'm pretty sure a lot of fantasy fans would love this epic trilogy. I mentioned in my reviews of the previous books, The
Gary K Bibliophile
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Golden Wolf is the third of Linnea Hartsuyker’s Half-Drowned King trilogy (I’ve also seen it listed as The Golden Wolf Saga). If you are reading this I’m hoping you read the first and second books (The Half-Drowned King / The Sea Queen) If you haven’t, there are some minor spoilers ahead regarding details from each of those.

In between the first and second books 6 years had elapsed. During that time there was sort of a Viking baby boom (mostly from Harald - I hope for his wives’ sakes that he
Laura Tenfingers
The Golden Wolf is a fantastic ending to a fantastic trilogy. I was completely absorbed in this tale and could feel myself in 9th century Norway, Sweden, Iceland and the Orkneys.

This was a story of the unification of Norway and how that may have come about. There is war, negotiating, conniving, betrayal, lots of dragonship-sailing, travails, heartbreak... The story is told from many points of view, but not too many. Unlike the first two books which were each about mostly one person: Ragnvald t
Stephen Richter
That is the problem with really good trilogies, you do not want it to end. Linnea Hartsuyker has used various Myths and Legends about Norway first King, Harald the Fairhair to fill 3 great books. By using as Brother and Sister main protagonists to spin the tale along with a slew of great minor character, this is an excellent Historical Fiction series. If you are a fan of Viking tales, a fan of backstabbing relatives, a fan of political double dealings, this is the series for you. ...more
Tiff (fictionaltiff)
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Golden Wolf is the final book in The Half-Drowned King trilogy, and I can officially say the entire trilogy is fantastic! It’s a new favorite of mine, and I’m going to force all of my friends to read it now.
This trilogy retells the Viking-age history of Norway. King Harald and his greatest and closest advisor, Ragnvald, are securing his kingdom: defeating anyone who opposes the crown and making alliances where they can. Ragnvald is sworn to serve Harald and will sacrifice everything to keep
Linnea Tanner
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Golden Wolf is a 9th-century Viking saga spanning across the regions of Norway to Iceland. This is the final book in The Golden Wolf Saga trilogy centered on King Harald and his trusted advisor, Ragnvald, and can be read as a stand-alone novel. Ragnvald and his sister, Svanhild, work tirelessly to preserve peace in Norway under King Harald’s sovereignty. The harmony of the kingdom is threatened with insurrection and the reckless actions of King Harald’s and Ragnvald’s sons seeking to forge t ...more
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this series so much, and The Golden Wolf, the concluding installment, did not disappoint.

Taking place approximately fifteen years after the dramatic, concluding battle in The Sea Queen, The Golden Wolf sees Ragnvald, Harald, Svanhild, and Solvi in their twilight years, and the narrative expands to include their children as narrators, specifically Einar, Ragnvald’s firstborn if illegitimate son, and Freydis, Svanhild and Solvi’s abandoned daughter. The character development, which has sh
Well, this series is over, and I definitely feel the weight of such a thing, under the circumstances. This was an epic, pure and simple -- covering both a large geographical scope and a long span of time, and with the weight of both history and mythology, truly heroic in a way no other non-mythological fiction I've ever read has felt. It's not my usual fare, but I'm very glad I read it, because it's just such an accomplishment. It's always hard to rate the last book in a series on its own merits ...more
Morgann Gordon
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have put so much time and effort into these books and finishing this book (trilogy) felt incredibly satisfying. Be prepared to spend some time learning names, where everyone comes from and who their father is! I admit that I did not heed my own advice, but trust me, you'll thank yourself later.

The final installment in this trilogy was my favorite and by far the easiest to read. I think that Linnea Hartsuyker has truly grown as a writer through these books and her skill is clearly translated i
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
The end of the saga! Once again I put a big book down for a while in the middle, to its detriment, but my brain just wasn't up for keeping more than 2 characters in it for a while. Overall this was less of a clear 4 stars for me compared to Sea Queen. There were bit and flashes of things I loved but it was more up and down, and while the ending felt earned, the pacing felt a bit off to me in the last few chapters.

Overall the 4-star parts for me were the characters. Freydis grew and grew on me u
Ariel (ariel_reads)
Reading this book transported me to ninth-century Norway, bundled in a warm hall at winter, and listening to the storytellers recount their lives, history, and culture. The Golden Wolf is the stunning climax to the three-part saga that Linnea Hartsuyker has so thoroughly researched and expertly developed. The Golden Wolf is absolutely my favorite of the three books because the character development that has been building throughout the other two novels concludes in an extremely satisfying way. T ...more
Ken Fredette
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finally finished this action- and emotion-packed trilogy about viking Norway. I came to really adore the new characters introduced in this last book, and I had many feelings over everyone’s fates. Highly recommended if you think you’d enjoy a violent, tender saga about fascinating, real-seeming people with messy lives and politics creating a nation amidst their feuds and love-stories.
Truly 3 1/2. I'm conflicted about this final installment in The Half-Drowned King series, which lost some of its magic from the previous books. In this book, we are introduced to the children of Svanhild and Ragnvald: Freydis and Einar along with some other sons of Ragnvald. Each takes on a perspective along with other characters as we watch Harald's power over his court fray at the corners and usurpers arise from different corners of the world and even from Harald's own ranks.

This story starts
Mayhaps this is why Vikings preferred to die in battle - so they didn't have to live with their regrets and the ceaseless squabbling of their sons?
Mar 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
In this epic conclusion Harald is still king, and Ragnvald is still his adviser. Both he and and his sister Svanhild are doing their best to protect the kingdom. When Svanhild's daughter, Freydis is kidnapped, Svanhild follows her and this sets in motion a series of events. Meanwhile, Ragnvald has to contend with his own sons and their choices...

I will say, I liked this book a lot. I cried. I laughed. I cheered. I went through a range of emotions...but it didn't feel as good as the previous two
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Honestly! HONESTLY!!!! I did not want this series to end! It has quickly become one of my favorite and WOW at this historical fiction! It was so vivid and vibrant and such a pleasing dive into 9th century Norway! I cannot say loud enough how much I LOVE the female characters in this! They are all so well rounded and fierce with their own ambitions and characters!
What a glorious third installment! What a moving end to a tale spun in legend! I laughed, I cried, I wept and I mourned. I still mourn
Melissa Stuart Barnett
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy. It’s not high art - it’s a compelling, sexy, fierce Viking soap opera that I enjoyed returning to each night. Historical Fiction
THE GOLDEN WOLF is the final book in Linnea Hartsuyker’s Golden Wolf trilogy. While I do love that each installment can stand alone, I suggest you read them all. Not only is the story richer and more thrilling, Hartsuyker is an amazing storyteller, and you will want to experience this Viking saga from its compelling start to its heartbreaking finish.

Ragnvald is still as loyal as ever to King Harald, but he’s growing tired of the amount of work he needs to do to keep Harald king. He’s getting old
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: viking
This book completely recaptured my interest that was somewhat lost in The Sea Queen.

This was an emotional roller coaster ride - I ended up hating characters that I previously loved, I loved characters that I used to hate. I had so many emotions while reading this book, I cried, I scowled, I laughed, I wanted to throw my Kindle across the room (of course, I didn't)... You get the point.

This was a book that left me wanting more, only because of how much I loved this series. I couldn't have asked
Jeff Waltersdorf
Finale of the historical fiction trilogy, covering the ninth-century saga of Harald Fairhair, and his conquest and unification of Norway. Ragnvald has been busy making alliances and treaties to solidify Harald's holdings. Ragnvald's sons are now grown, and beginning to make their marks on the world. Ragvald's sister Svanhild, a cast-off wife of Harald, begins to long for her earlier life as a Sea Queen.

Power, sex, battle, and shifting alliances drive the story. Ragnvald is caught between his oat
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Golden Wolf concludes the series of The Half-Drowned King serving as an appropriate sunset to a beautiful, heart-wrenching saga. Like the first two books, Hartsuyker expertly intertwines a story of broken heroes, sorrow, love and loss. Except, in this final chapter, the reader sees the long-lasting generational ramifications of the events (both heroic & tragic) of the previous stories. No great deed is without sacrifice and that is made apparent as we watch our former protagonists, now signi ...more
Aug 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thrilling conclusion to one of my favorite series, The Golden Wolf completes the story of Ragnvald the Wise and his sister Svanhild Sea Queen, as well as the fates of their respective children. Set almost 20 years after the events of the second novel, this novel vacillated between heart-pounding action as the war for the consolidation of Norway finally comes to a head with King Harald's ambitions, while also focusing on the tragedies and triumphs of the characters we have spent three books w ...more
Joni Daniels
Dec 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Part 3 in the trilogy continues the story that focuses on brother and sister Ragnvald and Svanhild. You’ll wish you had an organizational chart to keep track of the generations, the wives and husbands, friends and enemies, concubines and cousins - and the good and bad decisions they make. Ragnavald’s sons Ivan, Einar and Rolli are grown now with issues of competition and their own making as well as parental expectations. King Harold makes some poor decisions as well, forcing those sworn to prote ...more
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a compelling conclusion to this trilogy! The only downside is that while the first two books of Hartsuyker's Norse series captured the experience of their main characters, Ragnvald and the "sea queen" Svanhild, his sister, this book deals with many more point-of-view characters, some of whom we meet for the first time as adults, since it leaps forward nearly two decades in time. It sometimes felt as if the tale had morphed beyond the author's control, with too much happening in too many dif ...more
Nancy Groves
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This Viking-era trilogy wraps up with the characters who were coming up age in the first volume now older and with children of their own approaching adulthood and becoming primary characters in the plot lines that test everyone's loyalty amid the near-constant power struggles of ninth-century Scandinavia. Grief and tragedy await nearly all of them, and not all will emerge to rebuild their lives. Is this and the other two books of the series, Hartsuyker has built an enthralling look at life in th ...more
Kim McGee
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the third and final (gasp!) installment of a fascinating trilogy that recreates the adventure, blood lust and heart of the Viking culture. Ragnvald and his family are caught in the grips of war but he still clings to the hope of peace and his loyalty to King Harald who waffles on almost every decision. Ragnvald's sister will be cast off and travel to Iceland in hopes of finding her kidnapped daughter and his sons will leave as they are exiled or led astray by dreams of rebellion. A first ...more
joel jones
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If the description of this series intrigues you, get it. It is what it sounds like. An amazing trilogy of books about a Ragnvald the Mighty, his times in Viking Norway, and the building of Norway. It is a fascinating, well-researched tale about the culture, successes, and failures of a people. It is sweeping and yet poignantly focused in a loving manner on the characters. I am sad inside after finishing this. I am sad to leave Ragnvald, Svanhild, Solvi, Freyis, Rolli, Einar, and the rest. I miss ...more
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I am a full time writer of historical fiction with an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU and a BS in Material Science and Engineering from Cornell University. I live and work in New Hampshire.

I am also an avid knitter, Crossfitter, traveler, and cook, and a reader of all genres of fiction and non-fiction.

Other books in the series

The Half-Drowned King (3 books)
  • The Half-Drowned King (The Half-Drowned King #1)
  • The Sea Queen (The Half-Drowned King #2)

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