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Erling the Bold   By: (1825-1894)

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Erling the Bold by Robert Michael Ballantyne is an exhilarating adventure that takes readers on an unforgettable journey through the Viking Age. Set in ancient Norway, this historical fiction novel follows the life of Erling, a fearless young warrior with an unyielding spirit.

From the very first page, Ballantyne skillfully immerses readers in the rich and vivid world of the Norsemen. The author's extensive research is evident, as he paints a realistic and detailed picture of the rugged landscapes, fierce battles, and cultural nuances of this fascinating era. Each scene is expertly crafted, capturing both the breathtaking beauty and harsh realities of life in this era, making it easy for readers to visualize and envision themselves as part of Erling's world.

Erling, the protagonist, is a truly captivating character. From his humble beginnings as a young boy to his rise as a formidable warrior, Erling's journey is one of growth, courage, and self-discovery. His unwavering loyalty, resilience, and unwavering determination make him a relatable and inspiring hero. Ballantyne skillfully explores Erling's inner conflicts, personal dilemmas, and emotional growth, adding depth and complexity to his character.

The supporting cast in Erling the Bold is also well-developed, each bringing their own unique personalities and perspectives to the story. Whether it's the wise and enigmatic Viking chieftain, Olaf the Thick, or the spunky and fierce shieldmaiden, Thora, every character serves a purpose and adds depth to the narrative.

One aspect that stands out in this book is the author's attention to detail in describing Viking customs, traditions, and battles. Ballantyne's portrayal of Viking warfare feels authentic and well-researched. The action sequences are intense, gritty, and relentless, leaving readers breathless and on the edge of their seats.

The pace of Erling the Bold is steady and gripping, with each chapter leading seamlessly into the next. Ballantyne's writing style is engaging and descriptive, capturing the reader's attention from beginning to end. While the plot may not offer groundbreaking twists and turns, it remains enjoyable and satisfying, providing an immersive reading experience.

However, it is worth noting that some readers may find the language and narrative structure to be slightly antiquated, which can occasionally hinder the flow of the story. Nevertheless, this is a minor criticism in an otherwise captivating and compelling tale.

In conclusion, Erling the Bold by Robert Michael Ballantyne is an enthralling historical fiction novel that seamlessly combines adventure, history, and insightful characterization. It offers readers a remarkable glimpse into the Viking Age, with a relatable protagonist and a well-crafted narrative. Fans of Viking lore, historical fiction, and epic tales of bravery will undoubtedly find themselves engrossed in Erling's extraordinary journey.

First Page:




By the early light of a bright summer morning, long, long ago, two small boats were seen to issue from one of the fiords or firths on the west coast of Norway, and row towards the skerries or low rocky islets that lay about a mile distant from the mainland.

Although the morning was young, the sun was already high in the heavens, and brought out in glowing colours the varied characteristics of a mountain scene of unrivalled grandeur.

The two shallops moved swiftly towards the islands, their oars shivering the liquid mirror of the sea, and producing almost the only sound that disturbed the universal stillness, for at that early hour Nature herself seemed buried in deep repose. A silvery mist hung over the water, through which the innumerable rocks and islands assumed fantastic shapes, and the more distant among them appeared as though they floated in air. A few seagulls rose startled from their nests, and sailed upwards with plaintive cries, as the keels of the boats grated on the rocks, and the men stepped out and hauled them up on the beach of one of the islets.

A wild uncouth crew were those Norsemen of old! All were armed, for in their days the power and the means of self defence were absolutely necessary to self preservation... Continue reading book >>

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