Review: The Bewitched Viking by Sandra Hill.
BEWITCHED, BOTHERED, AND BEWILDERED ...
Even fierce Norse warriors have bad days. Holy Thor! 'Twas enough to drive a sane Viking mad, the things Tykir Thorksson was forced to do --- capturing a redheaded virago, putting up with the flock of sheep that followed her everywhere, chasing off her bumbling brothers. But what could a man expect from the sorceress who had put a kink in the King of Norway's most precious body part?
If that wasn't bad enough, his own skald was putting Tykir's embarrassing escapades into sagas for all posterity to laugh about. And he was beginning to realize he wasn't at all immune to the enchantment of brash red hair and freckles.
But he was not called Tykir the Great for nothing. Perhaps he could reverse the spell and hold her captive, not with his mighty sword, but with a Viking man's greatest magic: a wink and a smile.
was sent to fetch a witch . . . at least everyone thought she was a
witch because Tykir's king had a problem, a really distressing problem
with his most precious male part, a part that had kind of a right turn
in its length. She was the sorceress that had mumbled a "curse" on him
when she caught him ravaging a nun, and now he wanted that curse
removed. So a mighty warrior who was also a merchant and reknown
purveyor of amber has been sent to take her into custody. Alinor was
not beautiful, in fact she thought herself cursed as well with hair so
read it nearly glowed in the dark and she had more than her share of
freckles, a condition that was believed to be cause by the evil one.
(As a redhead I would have agreed, especially in my younger years) But
things never really seem to go smoothly for Tykir the Great -- as his
friend and fellow warrior Bolthor styled him. Not only did he have to
contend with Alinor, he had to contend with her sheep as well. In
addition, she had a bevy of greedy and controlling brothers, all of whom
she wanted to avoid so that she could control her own life. Needless
to say, this basic story line developed into a tale that was as laced
with fun and humor as it was with passion and politics.
Sandra Hill has written this extensive series as an attempt to redeem much that is erroneously believed about the Vikings. First published a decade ago, the books have been redone and re-released by Avon Books and are a joy to read. A number of characters are carry-overs from the previous books. Tykir himself first appeared in book one with his brother, both of whom were having a very difficult time relating to their father who was trying to protect them from being killed by jealous royal relatives. Now he is a man with his own life, his business, and with a rather significant plate full of troubles.
I have really enjoyed reading through this series and I would recommend that readers start with the first book. It is historical fiction that is charming and funny, intense and sometimes erotic, full of believable characters and all of it interwoven with the difficult and often misunderstood politics of that Medieval Period. It is an insightful look at the culture clashes that made life difficult for all the citizens of the British Isles and which erupted often in armed warfare. Yet in the midst of all the push pull of greed and political machinations are people who love and care and get caught up in real life difficulties. Now the problem with the king's most private part certainly gives spice and humor to the story, the dialogue and the overall context of Tykir's & Alinor's story. Suffice it to say that some of the funniest parts are the ridiculous and sometimes insightful but always humorous "sagas" or poems composed on the spot by Tykir's friend, Bolthor the Skald, a gentle giant and loyal friend, one who no one would think of hurting or injuring his spirit.
So if you have a chance or the inclination to read a really delightful historical romance, latch on to this one. It is beautifully written, well-researched, and will be entertaining from page one.
I give it a rating of 4 out of 5
This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. You can read more from Judith at Dr J's Book Place.