He is very stern at times but also kind. He is wary of Solveig as a passenger on his ship but agrees to it as long as she can pay her way with her carving talents. It was very interesting to learn more about carving and runes and the beliefs that go with it. Her English town was raided by Swedes as they killed her husband and dragged her away from her children and into a life of slavery.
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She now belongs to Red Otter but it is obvious that he cares for her as more than a slave. The other thing Solveig must learn about on her journey is religion.
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There is one particular passage where Solveig blames the Christians for being too compassionate — for always forgiving others when they should be seeking revenge and honouring any loved ones who have been wronged. Solveig has grown up in a particular way of life — violence has always been a part of it. Revenge, battle and wars are inherent to their beliefs.
She cannot understand why the Christians would ever be so forgiving. However, through her friendship with Edith, who is also a Christian, she comes to accept their beliefs the more she thinks about it — but she will always be a Viking woman. Kevin Crossley-Holland has undoubtedly carried out a lot of research for this novel and this is apparent throughout the whole novel.
However, I as a reader, never feel like I am having facts and beliefs forced upon me just for the sake of it. They become integral to the story. There prose is littered with bit of traditional Norse verse here and there giving it a very authentic feel.
A lot of the Viking names are also very similar and although this is helped with a character listing at the beginning of the novel, it can be frustrating having to flick back now and then. My main criticism of this novel has to be the ending. We spend so long on this journey with Solveig, searching for her father and feeling the suspense in waiting for the moment when they will finally come together again. And yet, the ending is over so quickly that it hardly feels worth the journey.
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In my opinion, everything seemed just a little too easy for Solveig. She found people willing to take her on board their ships easily enough, and had very minor obstacles throughout most of her journey. When she finally gets to Miklagard she finds her father within about two pages. I think the story would have been better if there was more getting in her way — to make Solveig struggle.
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All the suspense I had felt kind of fizzled out and I was left feeling quite disappointed that it was all so easy. At least, not in this title. Then, I thought that this book was going to be primarily about Solveig's journey to find her father. That was closer to the truth: "I've never felt so afraid. But I've never been so sure of what I have to do. Mother, my mother, my journey will either lead me to my father or lay me down like you. Her mother has been dead for a long time. Not a spoiler, that is explained in the first few pages of the book.
Solveig joins a few different groups of travelers on her way. Some of the characters are trustworthy, others are not, but none of them are very memorable. My favorite parts were the storytelling moments of Bracelet of Bones and I wished that there were more of them: "This girl lived on our fjord and she told a story about how the winter was so bitter that even the gods were famished and Skadi herself had to go ice-fishing and hunting.
But she told it on the eve of the spring solstice. Her words stopped the sun from warming the earth! The quote that best encapsulates this story is: " I endeavor to step out that door and face the unknown every day.
Some days I'm more successful than others. Only recommended for those who enjoy tales about Vikings. Though it reached for thrilling heights, Bracelet of Bones feels to me like a book that chose to stay at home by the fire and stir the stew-pot. View all 4 comments.
Oct 30, Rusty's Ghost Engine also known as Jinky Spring rated it liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , uhhhh , it-was-ok. This book didn't live up to expectation and it wasn't nearly as exciting as it sounds. In fact on saying that I'm not quite sure why I picked this up at the library. I'm not a huge fan of historical fiction and I can't stand realistic fiction this book was realistic. I usually only choose a book if it has an element of fantasy or science fiction, this book had neither.
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So I don't know what made me choose this it just sort of stood out to me. But, my gosh I regretted this choice it was so boring! So unless you're a HUGE fan of historical stories I recommend every one give this book a miss cause seriously hardly anything happens. I definitely will not be continuing this series. As I have said in other posts, this is a book I reread only last week. I found that very little happened throughout this book and the ending was quite predictable. The passages when it was just plain travelling I felt could have been made more colourful as this is fiction after all.
It just described Solveig in her everyday travels doing everyday things like helping on the boat, going to the market etc.
The Viking Sagas Bracelet of Bones Book 1 by Crossley-holland Kevin Hardback
But these could have had more spice in them, instead they almost sounded like everyday events despite the death of quite an important character. Also the passages with the other lesser characters could have been developed more and given more depth, so I thought. How did her friendships develop? I will also say I liked the historical descriptions and the clashes between the different religions more this time.
Fair play the author has done his research and was apparently inspired by a name Halfdan scratched on a wall from long ago…. Something a little different about the Vikings: in the 11th century Solveig travels from Trondheim to Miklagard [Constantinople] to reunite with her father, Halfdan, who is there part of the Varangian Guard. The author must have researched thoroughly, but the story and characters fell flat. And how on earth could a young girl travel such a distance and in dangers--such as rapids on the Dnieper River--without some male Something a little different about the Vikings: in the 11th century Solveig travels from Trondheim to Miklagard [Constantinople] to reunite with her father, Halfdan, who is there part of the Varangian Guard.
And how on earth could a young girl travel such a distance and in dangers--such as rapids on the Dnieper River--without some male figure hurting her? Her companions in the trading ship all treated her like a sister or daughter [depending on their age]. That was a bit hard to believe. The map tracing her journey was a gem! The author states that discovering in Aya Sofia the name "Halfdan" carved into a balustrade in Runic letters gave him the idea for the story.
Jan 21, Barb Middleton rated it liked it Shelves: historical , vikings. Solveig is with her Viking father, Halfdan, in a valley in Trondheim, Norway, where he is telling her of his experience in the great the Battle of Stiklestad in when King Olaf died and Norway fell under Danish rule. Halfdan and another man saved King Olaf's son, Harald's life and promised to serve with him in the Varangian guard in Miklagard when he sent for him. The Varangian guard were personal bodyguards to the Byzantine emperors. Harald sends for Halfdan many years after the battle, and Solveig is with her Viking father, Halfdan, in a valley in Trondheim, Norway, where he is telling her of his experience in the great the Battle of Stiklestad in when King Olaf died and Norway fell under Danish rule.
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