While it started out as a very good adventure; it quickly devolved into something other than sword and sorcery. It became dark and miserable and entered the modern trend of fascination with "tedious monotony of inescapable gloom".
Spoiler Alter: I only read the book because the author does have an excellent grasp of viking age culture and at first the political twists and turns were interesting. It's too bad he then decided to make the book into a self looping sequel of induced gloom fest. There are few to no hero's to really cheer for and it's a bit much of the modern trend to "kill off" all the main characters. If you enjoy seeing good characters trapped in inescapable dilemma, this is the book for you.
The following books in the series follow up on this mental crush; but really, there's no AIDA to keep following the story...unless you are a true fan of tragedy.