Friday, June 23, 2017

Five top books inspired by Norse sagas

Scott Oden's new novel is A Gathering of Ravens.

One of five books inspired by Norse sagas he shared at
Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton

Though perhaps best known as the author of the wildly popular techno-thriller Jurassic Park, in 1976 Michael Crichton explored the Northern thing with Eaters of the Dead: The Manuscript of Ibn Fadlan Relating His Experiences with the Northmen in AD 922. Utilizing as his starting point the actual 10th-century manuscript of Ahmad Ibn Fadlan—who was an emissary from the Caliph of Baghdad to the king of the Volga Bulgars—Crichton skillfully builds a unique tale that mirrors the epic Beowulf. The tale veers from the historical when Ibn Fadlan is taken North against his will by a band of Vikings, led by the mighty Buliwyf, to combat a creeping terror that slaughters their people in the night. Along the way, the reluctant hero bears witness to the curious customs of the Northlands, from ship burials and human sacrifice to single combat and the fatalistic philosophy of the Viking.
Read about the other books on the list.

Eaters of the Dead is among Jeff Somers's top ten SFF books that take on Norse mythology.

--Marshal Zeringue