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Viking Warrior

(The Strongbow Saga #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  1,772 ratings  ·  146 reviews
He's the son of a chieftain and a princess--yet Halfdan was born a slave. Now he is becoming a man and it is time for him to meet his destiny. Though raised a slave who could only dream of freedom, young Halfdan's fate may be about to change. If freed, he may train as a Viking warrior, and come to know the glories of true brotherhood and the horrors of unspeakable evil. In ...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Harper Teen (first published June 1st 2006)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,772 ratings  ·  146 reviews

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Feb 13, 2009 rated it liked it
This is Sarah's latest series. She borrowed the book from the school library and passed it along to me after she read it. She's almost done with the second book now and tells me that I will want to read it, too.

I found that I understood a lot of the terms and the reasoning behind the Viking way of life because of the first Nancy Farmer book I read recently. In comparison, this one is less poetic and less fanciful, but the similarities confirm the truth and realistic qualities of the story. The
This book looked unusual and intriguing - we don't get much historical fiction or male main characters these days.

Halfdan and his mother are slaves to his father, a Viking warlord. The warlord's wife knows that her husband prefers Halfdan's mother, and is cruel to the Irish captive and her son. But when Halfdan's father dies, his mother is sacrificed as favorite concubines were, and Halfdan himself is adopted into the family according to his father's wishes. His stepmother chafes at this, but
Susan Peek
I LOVED this book and can't wait to read Book 2 in the series! The characters are very well developed (you'll fall in love with the two heroes, believe me!), the details of Viking life are incredibly well-researched and portrayed, and the plot moves at breakneck speed. I couldn't wait to put the kids to bed every evening so I could read a few more chapters. I even dreamed about the book when I was asleep!

So, if I loved it so much, you may be wondering, "Why only 4 stars instead of 5?" Actually,
This book surprised me in how well the characters and story are well crafted. Some parts were kind of predictable and followed a sort "theme" these types of books seem to follow. Overall though, a great historical fiction read. This is a young adult tale but would recommend it for older teens.

I listened to the audio book and the whole production is well done.

Mar 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Norse, like most Medieval societies, were heavily stratified, but not entirely inflexible. Slavery endured longer in the lands of the north, having given way to serfdom much centuries earlier in the Christian kingdoms of Western Europe. Furthermore, the Vikings developed a thriving slave trade. Slavery was not intensive as in Sparta or the Antebellum American South, but slaves were a tradeable commodity. Viking raids took Irish, Saxon and Frankish slaves to work farmsteads in Iceland, ...more
Leigh Collazo
May 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011
More reviews at

Overall Rating: While this book wasn't really for me, I wholeheartedly recommend this one for middle school boys who like lots of action, war scenes, learning about Viking culture.

What I liked: I can remember studying the Vikings for the first time in fourth grade. We had a young student teacher who knew much about Viking culture and passed that along to the 32 eager young minds in Ms. Schiffanelli's class. Viking culture is just plain interesting,
I have not rated this book as I think it would be unfair to rate it based on my opinion as it is suitable for a much different audience than me. It is categorized as a young adult book, but it is a far more boyish young adult than many teen books. I decided to read it as I have a professional interest in the Viking period, and the depiction of Viking life was indeed well done. I was engaged for about half the book thinking it was evolving into something more complex, but it turned into a boys' ...more
Nov 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great book full of action, honor and betrayal. I was sure if I would like this book since I'm more of fantasy buff but this was good. I like how a slave became royalty and had to learn to act as such, but learns the cost of it. The story was great and I'm looking forward to reading book 2. Halfdan definitely changed throughout the story and I see more change coming great historical fiction book.
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Even though I seem to have some genetic imprinting to hate Vikings, I very much enjoyed this book. The story is engrossing and the historical aspect is accurate. A reader will really get a taste of life in the mid 800s Denmark. I just finished this one and found out there are 5 in total. The first 3 are out.
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unexpectedly beautiful writing which throws you straight into vivid landscapes, emotions and characters. Gripping adventure with the start of a vengeance quest, battles, weapons, forest skills, Norse Gods. Sadly no sheildmaidens though, all too busy cooking.
Marga Vr
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: every young reader
Shelves: youngadult, givenaway
Berdina read it and rated it highly It's carefully written with glossary and historical background. Gave it to Stefan
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book captured my attention from the very first chapter. I really enjoyed the original voice that Judson Roberts used. I could tell he did a lot of research into the historical details of the time and place he set this story in. I also loved that there was a glossary in the back and a part that explained some historical relevance of the time.

Now for the characters. These characters were incredible. I loved that each person had their own personality and reacted realistically to what was
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice surprise

An extremely well written young adult book that thoroughly immerses the reader in Viking society and thought process.
This is the first in a series of books, I believe. Normally I am vehemently against such things. The author, however, provides a satisfying mini-conclusion while leaving it open for more story to be told.

Recommended for readers aged 10 and up. Be aware, though, that there are
1. Many descriptions of killing, and not being bothered about it.
2. Mention (but not
Sep 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This was decent enough. I love the whole Viking era and this book still does give me the satisfaction of reading more stories about it but it's very basic, makes for fast easy reading. I went through it quickly but didn't feel any trepidation or suspense when I should have. I know it's probably going to be predictable. But I'm still curious about how things I know will happen are going to happen. So moving on to the second book in the series!
Dec 22, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
the book just flows, and it was kind of predictable , the turns and events are not a surprise, yet it is not a bad book, it focuses on the surroundings and describe it in details, and it seems that all characters have a story or two to share, I am kinda curious how Halfdan's chr. will grow , but it needs to spice thins a little with plot twists, the fights and narrating are okay...will see how it goes with book2.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Viking Warrior, the first of the Strongbow Saga, is an excellent book written in a way that makes you feel as if you are there in the middle of the action. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it and will likely read the rest of the books in the series. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Vikings or studying Viking history.
Sarah Lombard
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading this book!
It was very very interesting and much better than the Vikings show because it was full of Viking spirituality and adventure. I very much looked forward to reading it every day as it got me thru some rough times. Highly recommended and am starting the next book
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
I liked the characters and setting. The plot was interesting, revenge is my favorite trope. However, the writing style was dry. There were lots of descriptions of weapons and battle strategies that I could do without, especially during high stakes points in the narration.
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This seems more to be a more accurate representation of Viking life than we usually see.
The first third was a little hard for my get through, but we needed to connect and understand Halfdan to appreciate his character’s growth.
I quite enjoyed this one.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Constant action and interesting scenarios, conflicts, and resolutions set in the woods in times of old.
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Cool gruesome revenge story about a young viking that has been a slave all his life. Don't get attached to any of the characters, nobody is safe.
Sierra M
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked it. It was pretty good, considering I rarely read into a genre like that. Halfdan is a good, strong protagonist you will be rooting for the whole time.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lots of action, likable characters. Easy read, great for a day at the beach or lake!!!! Will read the next book in series!!!
Jul 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
Oh man. I had so many problems with this book. So so many. The two main problems I had were historical accuracy and a severe wish-fulfillment problem. Halfdan can learn any complicated skill in a month! And as a bonus he learned a bunch of them growing up, despite being a slave! Oh and no girls. Because this is a boys book.

Things I don't like: (mild spoilers)

1.) Margins are almost half the page. Wasteful.

2.) His mom is a princess. And wasn't ransomed. Even if her father and fiance were dead,
Chance Kingsmyth
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely gripping story. The action scenes are intense, and fast paced. The author brings you into this world that is dark, violent and full of sickening realities of our past. The character Halfdan is relatable and full of heart, truly compelling to the reader. This book made me fall in love with reading again after many years. It pulled me in, In one page. The story of a slave, gifted, talented and a survivor.
Hazel West
Thoughts on the Overall Book: I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I love stories about Vikings, and I loved how this one was very accurate. Mr. Roberts did his research on this quite wonderfully. It was not one of the cliché Viking stories where they are portrayed pretty much as ancient pirates, and the extensive historical note in the back, clearly shows all the research that went into this novel to make it accurate, so my hat off to Judson Roberts!

Cover-- Yae or Nay: I really like the pictures
Feb 08, 2012 rated it liked it
This is one of those rare books that I only kind of liked but at the same time am eagerly awaiting the chance to read more books in the series. This is due to the fact that, as a 280 page book, the plot only really gets going during the last 80 pages, but those last 80 pages are intense and well written and do a great job of making you want to pick up the next book in the series to see what happens next. Unfortunately the first 200 pages prior to that, while interesting, seemed to plod along a ...more
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Because of the morbid and crass content that this book features many people have given it some-what bad reviews. My twisted mind and I digress however. I love Vikings and when I read a Viking book I don't expect cotton candy fluffiness and pretty princesses. With that aside I really enjoyed Viking Warrior by Judson Roberts.

At the same time I was also left a bit sickened at their lifestyle. I know from studying history that the Vikings are violent and often people who lack morals. Don't read this
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english-12
Son of a mighty chieftain and son of a princess, he should be royalty, right? Wrong! He is a lesser thrall living on his father's land, being a slave. Life isn't bad though, considering he is a slave. But after a raid gone foul... His father returns, missing a limb, bleeding out... Halfdan is free.

Viking Warrior is about a thrall-turned-free boy named Halfdan, on his way to figure out who he is, and how he should be a warrior. Long is it that he had dreamed to be free, and as a thrall had
Steve Caldwell
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When the story begins, Halfdan is a house slave of a Danish viking lord, who is actually his father, having enslaved his Irish princess mother on a raid. He lives and works in the longhouse with his mother and the other slaves. When his father is fatally wounded on a raid, his mother makes a bargain with his father before he dies that Halfdan will be freed and legitimized, in return for agreeing to acompany his father on the deathship to Valhalla. In this way does he gain his freedom and lose ...more
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Fascinated since childhood with the Vikings, and a lover his entire life of captivating stories, Judson Roberts decided in 1999 to attempt to combine these interests and write a novel set within the world of the Vikings. Two years and countless hours of research later, the Strongbow Saga, a historical fiction series for adult and teen readers, was born.

Over his long and varied career, Judson

Other books in the series

The Strongbow Saga (4 books)
  • Dragons from the Sea (The Strongbow Saga, #2)
  • The Road to Vengeance (The Strongbow Saga, #3)
  • The Long Hunt (The Strongbow Saga, #4)
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