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The Norse Queen

(The Norsewomen #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  340 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Ninth century Norway, the dawn of the Viking era, -- a land shattered into thirty warring kingdoms. A woman could seize power, if she was bold enough.
Daughter of a Norse king, fifteen-year-old Åsa dreams of becoming a shield-maiden. When she spurns a powerful warlord, he rains hellfire on her family, slaughtering her father and brother and taking her captive. To protect h
Kindle Edition, 326 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Shellback Studio
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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Helen Hollick
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a Scandinavian saga. Well-written, with a significant number of strange, ancient Norse words, handled with such dexterity by the author that they are easily assimilated and barely affect the flow of the story.

What I liked most about the book was its pace – firm and steady, never deviating from the central theme. Asa, the daughter of the king of Tromoy, is invited to marry Gudrod, the king of a neighbouring settlement. Her refusal sets off a series of events that changes her life and the
☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣
“A falcon is a very special blessing from the gods,” (c)
Åsa felt a pull in her chest as if part of her could soar with the bird. She knew Stormrider did not share this bond. “A falcon is not a dog,” Gunnhild had cautioned her. “If ever she returns to the wild, the tie is broken. She’ll never come back.” (c)
She remembered a song her mother taught her when she was very young, a vardlokkur, in words humans could not understand. It was a song to call the dísir, the loving spirits of the dead.
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
It's been years since I've read any historical fiction set in the Viking era, but what a way to be welcomed back. Queen Asa is my kind of heroine - strong, resolute, loyal, and as time wears on, patient and cunning. This novel grabbed me from page one and kept me riveted. Will definitely be reading book 2.

Kindle Unlimited often surprises me with some really great reads, lol.
S.D. Reeves
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

Nuanced, professionally researched, and exciting. The Norse Queen by Johanna Wittenberg is a rare triple threat to your free time.

Norse mythic novels were all the rage about fifteen years ago. These ranged in quality, so when I was approached with this title, I was at first a bit skeptical. Until I did some laymen (google) research:

“Åsa Haraldsdottir of Agder was a legendary Norwegian Viking Age queen regnant of the petty kingdom of Agder. According to sagas referencing the clan Yngli
Mary Yarde
Feb 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Good! A interesting ( sort of true) viking story. I loved how strong Asa was. She survives her grief and her husband. Olfa was weak in comparison, though he was only 16.

The only complaint I have is that I wish the author didn't keep it so clean. I just would have liked it a little grittier in violence and sex. The sex is non- existence. I don't need steam but the characters just kiss and land on the ground then it's over in the next sentence. It would have made her struggle even more believable.
J. Else
Norway, 9th century. Asa is only 15 when her father and brother are murdered by the vicious warlord Gudrod. She is forced from her home to become his bride. Asa attempts to escape but is found by Gudrod’s son, Olaf. If only it could have been Olaf’s proposal instead of Gudrod’s. Despite their shared feelings, Olaf’s duty compels him to bring Asa back to his father. Desperate to save her people from being punished for her actions, she consents to be wed. Because if Asa ever hopes to get retributi ...more
Easiest 5 star rating I've given.

Totally submersive reading.

I love this kind of historical fiction and the author wasted no time in taking the reader back in time on an unforgettable adventure with fifteen-year-old Åsa. Through her turmoil and heartache to her gathing strength to defeat her enemies.

I found Åsa a wonderfully strong character. I liked her instantly. Her voice, relationships and actions believable.

The author has done an amazing job with this story setting - weaving magic, believabl
Jun 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating historical fiction novel. It's so refreshing to read a book about this time period and place that isn't ALL about men/Viking warfare or a syrupy romance novel which is very slight in the history department (although there are plenty of battles and also a romance). I greatly appreciated the many historical details woven into the story. While there is a magical element in the book (which I usually dislike in historical novels), it's done well and adds to the narrative and it ...more
Morten Simonsen
Well-researched and thrilling

I read this story via Kindle Unlimited and it was awesome. Being Norwegian, I can verify that Johanna knows what she's taking about. The level of detail is marvellous. I come from the area she's writing about and recognize it from her descriptions.

The story itself is captivating. Our main character Åsa is taken from her home after her father and brother are murdered and forced to live with her captors.

I'll keep reading. Thanks, Johanna, for writing such a great stor
A thoroughly entertaining and engaging book, The Norse Queen is the story of warring kings, vengeance, sorcery, and rituals from the viking Era. I am on to The Falcon Queen, as I want to see what happens to Asa, Olaf, Ulf, Heid and the others!
Apr 08, 2020 rated it liked it
One of the best historical fiction I've read. Looking forward to sequel. ...more
Sara Z.
May 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic Historical Fiction

The Norse Queen is a beautifully written novel of a Viking Queen and would be Shield Maiden. The story follows Asa’s early life as a newly stolen Queen, the birth of her son, and the vanquishing of various foes. The characters are beautifully wrought and the scenery is painted in vivid color and detail. I would recommend it to anyone - especially if you enjoy historical fiction with a dollop of fantasy/mysticism thrown in. Wonderful.
Melania Ramona
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I enjoyed it very much, I am curious to read what happens next.
Sep 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a free kindle unlimited download.

I admit, I had a bit of a hard time with the first half or so of this book. I wasn't enjoying the dialogue all that much, and the characters just didn't feel fleshed out enough for me, even though I really liked the details put into the world and surroundings.

That changed at around the 50 percent mark. That was around the time Asa started showing her strength and Olaf had to grow a pair due to a betrayal. I felt much more invested in their journey, and I
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wild adventure

I really enjoyed reading this story. When I learned it was inspired by a real person, it elevated it to new heights! Asa’s story is full of empowerment, love, action, and wild Norse adventures!

It’s very well written. I definitely recommend reading this book! I can’t wait for book two!
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A fun read

An exciting story based on a real Viking Queen. The characters were interesting and struggled with complex dilemmas. The author clearly did her research and did an excellent of weaving it throughout. It made the time period rich and alive. Would recommend to anyone who likes historical fiction and strong female characters.
Roland Boykin
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story will take you for a ride through all the emotions. Join Asa as she fights to regain her rightful place as Queen, and avenges the death of her family. Well written and an enjoyable read!
Jan 08, 2021 rated it liked it
This Viking novel loosely based on the life of Asa, a Norse shield- maiden of the ninth century AD, is overladen with details of the lifestyle and customs of the day, at the expense of character development. The reader learns about the dress, the food, the weapons and ceremonies of the Viking people. This is all very interesting, but makes for a heavy, emotionless storyline. I never felt I grew to know or to feel empathy for Asa, or any of the other characters.
The male warriors were only distin
Apr 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was amazed!! Couldn't put it down. Finished it and couldn't wait for the next one. Johanna writes in a way to entrance the reader and because I am of the Scandinavian heritage, I became one with it. It felt like I was that Norse Queen being able to go in and out of of the falcon. (I've always thought I could fly anyway). The love story was tender and loving and when she had to marry father, it was awful but leaves a person yearning for Olaf.

Even the cover pulled at my heart strings, my sister
May 16, 2021 rated it liked it
This is the lightly based story of Asa, a real queen of 9th century Norway. To me the story was about female strength and empowerment mixed with Norse mythology.
The world building was very good, but I was not captured by the characters right away. The battle scenes were also very well written.
Asa has always wanted to be a Shield Maiden and marriage was never highly regarded by her. Hence when a king from her fathers past asks for her hand her answer is a very strong no. The kings son Olaf who
Janet Hawn
May 19, 2021 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book. I was enjoying it, then it was ruined for me. My great grandparents came to America from Norway, so I have always been interested in the history. This reads like a fairy tale. Not only does she get rescued (what a coincidence), but she gets to have sex with her rescuer immediately. They aren’t even on land. Such haste. It will be awhile before I try reading the work of an author who is new to me. Very disappointing. Sex in a book is fine with me. However, immediate se ...more
Feb 17, 2021 rated it did not like it
I’m in the minority in this. It lost me as soon as the love interest couldn’t figure out why his “mission” failed. Come on?! We see that he has daddy issues. It was frustrating, you wanted to route for them but it seems like the story line there was non existent. I know she bigger problems but it didn’t really pull me in. I really love her brother and his character, I think it would’ve been awesome if he continued on...but you know...(can’t tell u) Anyway, beautiful description of the world and ...more
Tanya Nellestein
Mar 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
A page turner

A gripping adventure that draws the reader into the Viking world. At times, the book was a little heavy in exposition and use of Viking terms where a simplified version would have sufficed and kept the reader fully engaged. However, the story and the characters were well defined and I look forward to continuing the adventure in book 2.
Mar 12, 2021 rated it liked it
I am always up for a good Viking tale. This one is loosely based on the life of a real Norse Queen. There is a bit of magic, extra long battles and extra short romance with strong female characters. I enjoyed the story, even though the writing style and characters were a bit plain but overall an enjoyable read with the most beautiful cover.
richard honeysett
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Critique a book

Like the book a lot Compelling reading moved along at a good paceWould recommend this book to anyone that likes this type of adventure
Mandy Sosbee
Dec 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed the storyline with Asa and how her character developed into a strong young woman capable of protecting her son and avenging her father and brothers death.
Marci Fuller
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Fast action, in-depth research, layered plots, interesting characters, and just the right dose of fitting fantasy - what more could one want? A very fun read.
D E Johnson
I like stories woven of research

So this was an easy book to admire and get lost in. Hats off to the author that spins a good tale as she entertains.
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Like her Viking forebears, Johanna Wittenberg has sailed to the far reaches of the world. She lives on a fjord in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, whom she met on a ship bound for Antarctica.

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Other books in the series

The Norsewomen (3 books)
  • The Falcon Queen (The Norsewomen #2)
  • The Raider Bride (The Norsewomen #3)

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