26 November 2007

The Whale Road by Robert Low

A very strong debut novel (although from the author blurb, Low had a career as a journalist) in the historical adventure genre.

The story follows Orm Ruriksson, a young Norseman who has to flee his foster home and join his father on a viking ship. It turns out that the leader has a plan to hunt down a fabled treasure horde. This takes the band a long way and through various stresses, betrayals and fights.

The characters are strong - Low paints very effective pictures of their personalities with few words. Orm narrates, and remembers being essentially carried on a flood for most of the story. It pretty much is a coming of age story for him, framed as a great quest for the treasure.

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