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The Thrall's Tale

by Judith Lindbergh

      An engaging and challenging novel, this book is written from three points of view, alternating between Katla, Thorbjorg, and Bibrau. Their voices are distinct and well defined. It's a deep and dramatic saga about the pagan Dark Ages, that is well researched, with vivid settings and great historical detail. Truly captivating and pleasing to read.

Journeying from Iceland to Greenland in A.D. 985 a group of Nordic settlers long for a better life in a new land. Katla (the daughter of a Christian Irish woman kidnapped while pregnant with Katla) is born into slavery, born a thrall.

Katla is brutally attacked by Torvard, who is the son of her master Einar. Thorbjorg the seeress asks Einar for Katla, who has been left brutally deformed and pregnant. Because she is no longer of any use to him, Einar agrees and turns the care of Katla over to the seeress.

Thorbjorg cares for Katla following her attack and throughout her pregnancy. Bibrau, Katla's daughter, is born mute. She is hated by her mother. She is merely a reminder to Katla of the brutal attack that led to her conception.

Bibrau is evil, twisted and perverse. She grows up to abuse her shamanic powers, causing others pain and a great deal of damage. She vows to use her powers to avenge all those who have scorned her.

Then Christianity arrives in Greenland. The transition from pagan beliefs to Christianity begins.

Read the revealing and intimate details of the pagan community's daily survival. The troubles and trials of the hard lives they lived surrounded by hate-filled, violent people. This book is a saga, very well told, an interesting tale.

The Book

December 26, 2006
Trade Paper
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The Reviewer

Connie Harris
Reviewed 2007
© 2006