Katla is a slave and daughter of a Christian woman captured in a Viking raid on Irish shores. Setting sail from Iceland with her master's household, she heads toward the distant promise of a new homestead in Greenland. Also on the ship is Thorbjorg the Seeress, a much maligned and persecuted healer and prophetess who is ever faithful to the call of her patron god, Odin.
Upon first arriving in Greenland, Katla is brutally raped by her master's son, Torvard. The child of this union is Bibrau: taciturn, reclusive, infused with the savagery of her conception and suspected by many to be a changeling. But the seeress Thorbjorg, following a vision from her god, takes Bibrau as her apprentice. The young girl becomes an adept at healing and Norse magic, but her bitterness perverts the wisdom Thorbjorg gives. As her power grows, Bibrau twists it to good or evil at her whim, inflicting her will on Thorbjorg's household, her mother, and the tight-knit Greenland community.
The Thrall's Tale is a chronicle of love, hatred, and revenge at a turning point in history when Christianity first penetrates the pagan Viking sphere. The schisms, alliances, and sacrifices that result reflect the pain of a dying culture and the birth of a different world.
©2006 Judith Lindbergh; (P)2006 Penguin Audio and Recorded Books, LLC
"[Lindbergh's] well-researched and emotional evocations of characters in a time of religious and social upheaval are dramatic and entertaining." (Publishers Weekly)
the language and general aesthetic of this book does an incredible job of capturing Norse culture. that being said, prepare yourself to be immersed by this book into a harsh and alien world. this is not a book for warm fuzzies, and i would not recommend it to anyone with a weak stomach r.e. violence.
the reader is fantastic, her work being cut out for her by a text thickened with Old English (which successfully gives it a historical, archaic feel). innevitably, the drama of that particular style is somewhat...wet, so it gets a bit...spitty, but she's really very good.
overall, i found the style artful and the content well researched and imaginatively constructive. my only complaint is that from my own cultural and spiritual perspective, it felt sort of relentlessly tragic and heartless.
I was speechless.. utterly speechless… much time has passed since a book has captivated my every waking thought… told so beautifully and brought to life, I became the characters… this is what reading (listening) is all about!
This book is a great historic novel. The detailed research into this time period was obviously extensive. The religious references for Norse and theie entire way of life was insightful. The way of life was obviously difficult. An entertaining storyline
I got lost somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd section and never went back. The reader was great, its just the story plot. Not my cup of tea.
But not really. After the obligatory violence within the first chapter this story settled into a sing-song recitation of an enslaved woman's daily trials and tribulations. If you need to have background noise running while you do other things go ahead and download this book. If you want commute-time entertainment pass it by and grab something else.
I'm not sure what the author was attempting to convey with this book. The characters were mediocore at best and the plot...what plot? The research may have been extensive but I would have stayed awake more with a textbook.
I love a good long story as long as it can hold your attention which I don't think this one did. It was hard to follow becausse the book was written in first person but the person kept changing. I found the narrator's voice was not helpful either and she barly changed her voice from character to character. Some scenes were rather graphic for my taste. This book ended up having a lot of religions struggles between paganism and chrisitanity which I didn't like. I was just glad it was over.
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