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Viking Warrior

(The Strongbow Saga #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  1,839 ratings  ·  149 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 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,839 ratings  ·  149 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 c
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 h
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, Norwa ...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' a ...more
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.
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. ...more
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 ...more
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars!! This is the Viking saga I've been wanting to read! This historical fiction book is about Halfdan, a bastard-slave, who after tragic events, is compelled to avenge the wrongs done to him and his family. This book one (of four) of the Strongbow Saga tells of Halfdan, his 9th century Danish Viking village, his family, Viking culture, beliefs and his journey from a slave to a free man. The setting and world-building is descriptive, yet not overly done. I love learning about the Vikings, an ...more
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 happ
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. ...more
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! ...more
Shelby Rose
This gave a historically accurate, and heartfelt image of the Viking era. The characters were enjoyable and developed greatly throughout the story. It was written in a easy, readable format that made reading the story quick. However, it did fall at a flat baseline for me and the overall story seamed to go slow. With the way it ended I could clearly tell this first novel was setting the base for the rest of the saga so I will still give the second book a try!
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 18, 2020 rated it liked it
The writing style is very straight-forward and easy to follow. I liked the care the author took to present an historically accurate portrait of the Viking time-period. I'm looking forward to learning how the story ends in the subsequent novels. ...more
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was okay - nothing so stellar that I must run out and read book 2 but it was an okay story. I got distracted and read two dog training books while in the middle of this one.. so it took me a while to finish it.
Michelle Ruiz Kretzer
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Great writing! The discriminations. in this book literally puts you in the right then and there.. You can almost see the sword, feel the warmth of the fire and smell the forest.. Fantastic.. Can't wait to see how this 4 book series ends! ...more
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 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. ...more
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, y
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.
Titus Thanchanvelil
Sep 05, 2020 rated it liked it
A decent read targeted at the YA audience.

Liked the characters and setting. The integration of Norse mythology and Viking culture into the story is very interesting. But this book offers nothing else than the adventures of a boy. A lot of key scenes were less believable. The storyline is very basic, made for fast and lazy reading.

Things that bothered me is I felt things like slavery, Murder, and Rape are not taken seriously. The narrator should have been more careful since this is written for te
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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 Rober

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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