The concluding book in Linnea Hartsuyker's glittering, absorbing Viking saga about a brother and a sister
The fates of Ragnvald and his sister Svanhild unfold to their stunning conclusion in this riveting final volume in The Golden Wolf Saga, a trilogy that conjures the ancient world with the gripping detail, thrilling action, and vivid historical elements of GAME OF THRONES and OUTLANDER.
Ragnvald has long held to his vision of King Harald as a golden wolf who will bring peace to Norway as its conqueror - even though he knows that Harald's success will eventually mean his own doom. He is grateful to have his beloved sister, the fierce and independent Svanhild, once more at his side to help keep their kingdom secure. Free from the evil husband who used her, she is now one of Harald's many wives.
While Svanhold is happy to be reunited with her beloved brother, and enjoys more freedom than ever before, she is restless and lonely. When an old enemy of Ragnvald's kidnaps his niece, Freydis, his sister follows the daughter she has neglected to Iceland, where an old love awaits. This strange new land offers a life far different from what each has left behind, as well as unexpected challenges and choices.
Ragnvald, too, must contend with change. His sons - the gifted Einar, the princely Ivar, and the adventurous Rolli - are no longer children. Harald's heirs have also grown up. Stepping back from his duties as king, he watches as his sons pursue their own ambitions. But Norway may no longer be large enough for so many would-be kings.
Now in their twilight years, these venerable men whose lives have been shaped by war must face another battle. A growing rebellion pits Ragnvald and his sons against enemies old and new, and a looming tragedy threatens to divide them all. Across the sea, Svanhild, too, wrestles with a painful decision, risking the dissolution of her fragile new family as she desperately tries to save it.
Yet as old heroes fall, new heroes arise. For years, Ragnvald and Svanhild pursued the destinies bestowed by their ancient gods. Though the journey has cost them much, their sacrifices and dreams will be honoured by the generations that follow, beginning with Freydis and Einar. Emerging from their parents' long shadows, they have begun to pursue their own glorious fates.
This compelling conclusion to the GOLDEN WOLF trilogy recreates Viking-age Scandinavia in all its danger, passion, power, and glory - a world of brutality and myth, loyalty and betrayal, where shifting alliances and vengeance can build kingdoms . . . and can tear them down.
A seafaring epic with bloodcurdling raids and political intrigue to spare... Svanhild emerges as a complicated, talented, and shrewd warrior in her own right... Hartsuyker is a skilled storyteller, and the moral battles her characters wrestle with on and off the battlefield add compelling psychological depth to an old and epic tale - Kirkus Reviews, praise for The Sea Queen
Hartsuyker captures the sense of saga times and saga heroes: violent but litigious, treacherous but honorable, impetuous but crafty...a world brilliantly re-created by the author...Like 'Game of Thrones,' only more unscrupulous - Wall Street Journal, praise for The Half-Drowned King
Linnea Hartsuyker is a graduate of NYU's Fiction MFA program and Cornell University's Engineering school, and has been researching the rise and reign of Harald Fairhair since she first discovered she was descended from him at the age of seventeen, when her family traced its ancestry back through 1200 years of Swedish and Norwegian church records. Since then she has read extensively of Icelandic sagas, kayaked and skied the fjordland settings for this novel, and even become proficient in lifting Husafjell stones, as the Vikings did to become stronger.