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Publisher's Summary

In AD 793 Norse warriors struck the English isle of Lindisfarne and laid waste to it. Wave after wave of Norse "sea wolves" followed in search of plunder, land, or a glorious death in battle. Much of the British Isles fell before their swords, and the continental capitals of Paris and Aachen were sacked in turn. Turning east, they swept down the uncharted rivers of central Europe, captured Kiev, and clashed with mighty Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire.

But there is more to the Viking story than brute force. They were makers of law - the term itself comes from an Old Norse word - and they introduced a novel form of trial by jury to England. They were also sophisticated merchants and explorers who settled Iceland, founded Dublin, and established a trading network that stretched from Baghdad to the coast of North America.

In The Sea Wolves, Lars Brownworth brings to life this extraordinary Norse world of epic poets, heroes, and travelers through the stories of the great Viking figures, including Leif the Lucky, Eric Bloodaxe, and Harald Hardrada. This riveting history illuminates the saga of the Viking age - a time that "has passed away, and grown dark under the cover of night."

©2014 Lars Brownworth (P)2015 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A little dry but very interesting

Once you get used to the tone of the narrator it's very good, but he is very dry. I just finished listening to the Greatest Courses audiobook The Vikings, and this book basically reiterated everything that was in that lecture but in a more story-like and less lecture-like fashion. I enjoyed both and this book had a lot of slightly different perspectives and a few more details that weren't in the Greatest Courses lecture that were interesting. Definitely recommend if you're into Viking history.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Vikings for dummies.

Very fun history of the vikings, if somewhat simplistic. Good and integrated combination of history and myth.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Listen. Had my attention from the start!

What does Joe Barrett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He has an excitement and interest to his reading. I don't usually listen to Nonfictional Historical books but since i'm a fan of the TV series Vikings I wanted to learn more about the real history of Vikings and decided to give this book a shot. I was half expecting a monotone listen but was pleasantly surprised to hear the way Joe Barrett brings the history alive.

Any additional comments?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I certainly have a better view on the history of Vikings and the way "The Sea Wolves" was written and narrated made the history lesson super smooth and enjoyable!!! I recommend you pick this up if your at all interested in the history of Vikings!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • Northmead, Australia
  • 05-24-16

One Dimensional

Would you try another book from Lars Brownworth and/or Joe Barrett?

Doubtful.

Has The Sea Wolves turned you off from other books in this genre?

Probably not, but I think I need to be more careful in choosing books

Any additional comments?

History isn't just about the battles and the betrayals and the men of war. It's also about the lives of every day folk, it's about culture, it's about religion, progress...I could go on.

This book has something approaching a stubborn determination to only deal with the pillaging, the raiding and the massacres. It's something I see quite often in books that explore history, and ten years ago I might have forgiven it.

But not any more. I've had enough.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Cool Book - Explains the Viking Rationale

The narrator is good.

The story is very informative and you will understand what the Vikings did to England, Scotland, Russia, Iceland, North America, and France. There is a civilization and economic story here beyond pillage and violence. The west as we know it, barely survived this period.

Good historical work on a period that is often simplified and forgotten.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good overall treatment

It covers a lot of ground and there are some great anecdotes. I left wanting a bit more but can't quite figure out where or what given the sparse information I assume is all we have for some of the featured figures.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

pretty good

The story is very interesting, my only complaint is the narrator seems to enjoy whispering. The timbre and cadence of his voice is fine it's just very soft.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very interesting history on the Vikings

What did you love best about The Sea Wolves?

it is written and organized in an interesting way...and the narrator is quite good as well.

What did you like best about this story?

hard to decide...but just the different his- stories that have heard elsewhere on the Vikings..but this one has many of them that I haven't heard about and makes them even more interesting now..and was insightful on this age.

What about Joe Barrett’s performance did you like?

surprisingly I liked his narration..even though many American narrators I often don't like as much as British narrators..but his voice and accent was good and even better than some British narrators I have heard.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

no

Any additional comments?

well worth the time to listen to it

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

well done. More than just a history lesson

Well written and enjoyable to listen to. They brought history to life by expanding on simple facts. Good job.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Great Historical Epic

The tale of Vikings and their culture as it developed. It is an audiobook worth listening to.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-24-16

More history they didn't teach you at school

Any additional comments?

Having received followed an Anglo-centric history curriculum at school, I knew about the wicked Vikings, danegeld and the Danelaw. This book is a very informative introduction to the rest of Viking history. Worth a listen, if only to discover the name of the first European born in North America.