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Eric Brighteyes

1 rating: 5.0
A book by H. Rider Haggard

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER VI. HOW ASMUND THE PRIEST WAS BETROTHED TO UNNA. For a moment … see full wiki

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Author: H. Rider Haggard
Publisher: Borgo Press
1 review about Eric Brighteyes

A wonderful viking adventure!

  • Aug 4, 2000
Rating:
+5
The author of numerous romance-adventures in the 19th century tradition, Haggard turned his hand, at least once, to the older saga tradition of the northern peoples. The result may well have been his best work. Skillfully crafted, this tale proceeds at breakneck pace to unfold the saga-like adventures of the stout Icelandic yeoman, Eric Thorgrimurs' son (surnamed 'Brighteyes' for his most notable trait), as he struggles to win the hand of his beloved, Gudruda the Fair, despite the vigorous opposition of her half-sister, Swanhild the Fatherless (who seeks Eric for her own). Caught between these two beautiful women and faced with the need to overcome the opposition of Gudruda's father, Asmund the Priest (not the Christian sort) and his son, the greedy Bjorn (who would prefer to marry his sister off to a wealthy chieftain in lieu of a liaison with the farmer's son Eric), our hero must prove himself worthy of his destined bride while dodging the snares of those who would unman him. Conspiring with her mysterious mother, Groa the witchwife, Swanhild arranges to have Ospakar Blacktooth, a northern chieftain from Swinefells, pay Asmund's household a visit in order to see and woo Gudruda for himself. This Ospakar and Eric become immediate foes for Ospakar is as ugly and vile as Eric is handsome and honorable. And the tale only accelerates from here. From death-defying feats of derring-do to duels between deadly foemen to treachery and mayhem in blinding blizzards and on the high seas, this is an adventure which, once having grabbed you, will not let you go. Written in an archaic prose, mirroring the old nineteenth century translations of the original Icelandic sagas, and intended to simulate the voice of the old sagas themselves, the power of this narrative is compelling and unrelenting. And yet it is less exhausting than exhilirating as it unfolds the tale of Eric and the two women who loved him -- no matter what the cost. If the tale has a flaw at all it is that the characters are not real in any sense of that word but only larger-than-life actors who strut about upon the stage which Haggard has drawn for us here. At the same time the sensibility offered is one of pure and unmitigated adventure. But it's great fun and marvelous escapist fare. A must for lovers of Norse and viking times.

SWM
The King of Vinland's Saga

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