Friday, November 20, 2009

Profound...brilliant...you MUST read Lars Walker's "The Year of the Warrior"


Let me start this off by saying...if you don't read this book, you will be missing out on one of the most powerful and spiritually profound fantasy novels you'll ever read.

Lars Walker's The Year of the Warrior published by Baen Books left me awestruck. Don't judge this book by it's pulp-fiction cover; this is a historical sword and sorcery novel that transcends the genre. I feel as if any attempts on my behalf to convey the sweep of this story will utterly fall short, but I'll try and give little tidbits.


The historical aspect:
In this novel Walker plumbs the depths of the dark ages as the the pagan Norse religion begins to be supplanted by Christianity in Norway around 1000 A.D. Walker probes the uncomfortable horrors perpetrated by men in the name of Christianity: "Be baptized or die," becomes the mantra of the Church. And fighting this misguided version of Christianity is the brutal religion of the Viking Norsemen.  For Christians reading this story, it is a harsh confrontation with an often overlooked period of history...the inglorious, tragic attempt to win souls by the sword. Mr. Walker creates two bery memorable characters, Father Aillil an Irish priest who despises God, and a mighty Hersir named Erling, who as a "viking" Christian, aquires Aillil to be his priest.

The story is stuffed full of adventures, heart-wrenching drama, agonizing moral dilemma, titanic battles between men and gods. And that leads into the fantasy side of the story...

The fantasy aspect:
The gods of Norway don't sit idly by. Aillil calls them demons, but the pagan Norsemen's gods show themselves in many shapes and forms, driving the motives of men, infiltrating human minds, and often manifesting themselves bodily in open warefare with Aillil, Erling, and any who dare disrupt their dominion over Norway. There are Berzerkers, Ogres, underground women, and werewolves. And there are the fascinating Norse gods Thor and Freydis!

The skill of the writing:
Walkers writing is flawless. Historical scholarship, excellent storytelling, and powerful prose collide in this novel.


Now, about purchasing this book. It is out of print!! However there are two ways you can get it.
1) Buy it as an E-book from Baen Books HERE.
or if you're like me, choose option 2
2) Email the author and buy a copy directly from him. Lars Walker's email is lars@larswalker.com

And also! Walker has a new book out that is a sequel to The Year of the Warrior. It is called West Oversea, but it's also a stand alone. To read a review by Gene Edward Veith on Mr. Walker's newest novel, go HERE

Visit Lars Walkers website

And check out my interview with Lars Walker HERE!

Buy this book...you won't regret it!

11 comments:

Andra M. said...

Thank you for the review and the links. This sounds like a definite must-read.

KM Wilsher said...

Man, after that how can I not email Lars for a copy. What a great review and I am stirred to act.

I'd love to see how he handles this dark, historical period. The characters already sound appealing.

I am on my way, BB :)

Brandon said...

Hi Andra :)
Yes, I highly recommend this book!

Excllent KM :)
Tell Mr. Walker Brandon Barr sent you...I'm kidding of course!
But seriously, this book is just amazing. Let me know what you think when you finish KM!

Chris said...

Wow, that sounds amazing. I'm especially intrigued by his portrayal of gods in this book, as that's something I'm working with at the moment (for my pagan Elf and Dwarf civilizations).
I think I'll have to buy this one soon. At the moment I've got a lot on my plate, but squish something to the side for this. Sounds great.
Thanks for the review!

Brandon said...

Hey Chris, yeah, it's a gripping book. Walker does a great job bringing the viking gods to life. Most are quite frightening...

Anonymous said...

It was extremely interesting for me to read this blog. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I would like to read more on that blog soon.

Brandon said...

Hi Anonymous,
Happy to hear you're enjoying the blog! :)

Jason Campbell said...

Thought I'd drop you a note and say THANKS for putting me on to Lars Walker. Because of it, I'm partway through Year of the Warrior and happy to say your title for the post is spot on.

Brandon said...

Jason, I'm very glad you stopped by to let me know! There's a downside to hyping up a novel so much...it creates huge reader expectations...but I felt certain Walker would fulfill them!

Shirley R. said...

Thanks for writing book reviews for this genre. I am not a personal fan of science fiction, but my husband loves it. Can't get enough of it! I would love to buy him more books in the genre, but I never know what to get him. Now, thanks to you, I think I have a resource to find stories he'll gobble up.

Thanks again!

Shirley

Brandon said...

Hi Shirley, I'm delighted my reviews will be of service to you! :)