Viking ships landed on almost every shore in the Western world during the 350 years that followed the introduction of the sail into the region, from the 9th to the 11th century. Viking ravages united the Spanish kingdoms and stopped Charlemagne and the Franks' advance in Europe. Wherever Viking ships roamed, enormous suffering followed in their wake, but the encounter between cultures changed both European and Nordic societies.
Employing unorthodox and unpredictable strategies, which were hard for more organized forces to respond to, the most crucial element of the Viking’s success was their basic strategy of evading the enemy by arriving by sea, then attacking quickly and with great force before withdrawing quickly. The warrior class dominated in a militarized society. Honour was everything, and breaking promises and ruining one’s posthumous reputation were considered worse than death itself. If a man offended another man’s honour, the only way out was blood revenge.
Never before have the Viking art of war, weapons and the history of their conquests been presented together in such detail. With over 380 colour illustrations including beautiful reconstruction drawings, maps, cross-section drawings of ships, line-drawings of fortifications, battle plan reconstructions and photos of surviving artefacts including weapons and jewellery,
Vikings at Warprovides a vivid account of one of Europe’s most exciting epochs. Vikings at Warwas awarded the Norwegian literary prize ‘Saga Prize’ in 2012; currently in its fourth printing in Norwegian, this translation makes it available for the first time in English.
★★★★★ The authors’ purpose in writing this book was to provide readers with a vivid look into the Viking Age, and this they consummately achieve. Even though the writing isn’t always riveting, nuanced insights and delightful historical tidbits make this volume not only a worthy addition to any collection specialising in Scandinavian history, but also a stellar resource for history buffs and authors seeking background for their novels.Pirates and Privateers, Cindy Vallar
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