The Whale Road

The Whale Road

Book - 2007
Average Rating:
6
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A band of brothers, committed only to each other, rides the waves, fighting for the highest bidder, treading the whale road in search of legendary relics. Life is savage aboard a Viking raiding ship. When Orm Rurikson is plucked from the snows of Norway to brave the seas on the Fjord Elk, he becomes an unlikely member of the notorious crew. Although young, Orm must quickly become a warrior if he is to survive. His fellow crew are the Oathsworn---named after the spoken bond that ties them in brotherhood. They fight hard, they drink hard, and they always defend their own. But times are changing. Loyalty to the old Norse Gods is fading, and the followers of the mysterious White Christ are gaining power across Europe. Hired as relic hunters, the Oathsworn are sent in search of a sword believed to have killed the White Christ. Their quest will lead them onto the deep and treacherous waters of the whale road, toward the cursed treasure of Attila the Hun and to a challenge that presents the ultimate threat. Robert Low has written a stunning epic, a remarkable debut novel. Not only a compelling narrative, The Whale Road also brings a new Viking landscape stretching from Scotland through the Baltic and on to Istanbul. International Praise for The Whale Road: A company of warriors, desperate battles, an enthralling read. ---BernardCornwell A fantastic book, one of the best I have read for years. There's a wonderful earthiness to the proceedings and he creates a tangible sense of being there. There's a sturdy, lyrical, and epic quality about the writing that makes it feel like the kind of saga a Viking would recount in his old age. ---Simon Scarrow A stirring Viking series of blockbuster battles and religious intrigue. ---Publishing News Action-packed and evocative. ---Herald (Glasgow)
Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2007.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780312361945
0312361947
Characteristics: 340 p. : map ; 22 cm.

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y
yo918
Jul 18, 2017

If you like historical fiction and like "Viking" stuff in general, you should like this series. I read all five of the available ones, and will definitely read the sixth if it appears. This is so much better and more authentic than the Hollywood version of the Nordic world on the tv series. Low at least seems to have done some real research instead of just spouting the usual cliched garbage. A tip-off as to whether an author knows what he is talking about...unlike the tv show, these guys do not once call themselves "Vikings", which anyone who knows even the minimal about the real thing knows is NOT a self description. Viking is a verb, not a noun,and thankfully Low knows that.

z
zipread
Jan 29, 2017

By all means, particularly because it comes endorsed by Bernard Cornwell, I should have taken to this novel.
But that's far from the case. Confused and disoriented. That's how I found this novel. I didn't even manage to get to page thirty before deciding to give it the heave-ho.

LRS1969 Dec 14, 2015

Only gave 4.5 stars instead of 5 because at times it would run slow or simply drag out cultural details TOO much (don't get me wrong, I like those details but at times can be a bit much).

For those wondering, this is book 1 of a series of 5 books - of which book 5 is NOT at ClevNet at this point! If ClevNet won't purchase then will need to use WorldCat to locate a copy.

e
Eosos
Jun 05, 2014

At the beginning of the book I thought it was going to be 2 stars but it turned out to be a solid 4 star despite the first 100 pages.

Orm is a young man who has been fostered by his uncle since the age of 5. Incidents with his uncle and a white bear set him on a path with the Oathsworn, a group of Vikings traveling the known world as mercenaries. From reliquary hunters to besiegers of a fortress to treasure hunters, they travel where money and the whale road takes them and we follow Orm from untried youth to tested leader.

The beginning of the book was slow despite all the action; it was a bit convoluted with flashbacks and a large amount of character introductions. Once the book has launched into the travels it improves significantly. I admired the gritty realism of the battles, with terrible wounds and agonizing deaths, to the people of the era, from greedy rulers to thralls with nothing, it is what made this such a great book.

s
skulay
Sep 20, 2011

A OK book to read. Kind of slow begining and ending. The auther loves Norse ships. A OK book to read. Maybe more books in the series to flush out the world would be good.

t
themusicman
Sep 15, 2010

Enjoyed this book and finished the series. Did not appreciate the language used.

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