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Monday, September 20, 2021

Review: The Voyage of Freydis

Title: The Voyage of Freydis

Author: Tamara Goranson

Publisher: 22nd July 2021 by HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter

Pages: 400 pages

How I Read It: ARC book

Genre: historical fiction, viking

My Rating: 2.5 crowns


History set her fate in stone…

Murderer. Mercenary. Temptress.

Trickster. Traitor. Thief.

But under a hammer that falls like thunder, stone will always shatter.

So with her voice she lights the forge.

The Voyage of Freydis sings the silenced tale of Freydis Eiriksdottir, the first and only woman to lead a Viking voyage across the Atlantic in this tempestuous retelling of the Vinland Sagas set at the dawn of the 11th century.

My Thoughts

This is an historical story set in the Viking age and follows the legendary character of Freydis Eiriksdóttir (daughter of Erik the Red and the half-sister of Leif Eriksson). Married to an abusive man, she makes arrangements to escape on a ship bound for North America. If, like me, you loved the TV show Vikings, then this book will definitely hold a certain appeal for you. 

“I am Freydis Eiriksdöttir! I am the goði’s döttir. I am a warrior. By the gods, the next time I have a chance, I’ll kill you with this fearsome blade.”

There are many interesting aspects to this tale, particularly surrounding Norse and Beothuk  (‘skraelings’: the Viking term for Indigenous Americans) cultures. For me, this held the greatest attraction. However, rather than an action adventure, it tends more towards the emotional journey and the treatment of women. 

“Taking a vyking expedition is a perfect way to keep you safe from your husband’s fists,”

Unfortunately for me it was a difficult read because of the degree of abuse, in its many forms, occurring. I understand this is a Viking tale and therefore is not all flowers and chocolates. Yet the depth and breadth of the abuse - domestic violence, sexual assaults, emotional abuse, racism and more - was not balanced out with an accompanying engaging story. 

‘I am standing on the brink, pounded down like sand but willing to go in search of peace. I have found a way to trick him and now I am about to soar.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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