Can anyone recommend some good historical fiction (novels or short stories) set in Viking times?
Try The Hammer and the Cross, by Harry Harrison, and its two sequels, One King’s Way and King and Emperor.
I liked those very, very much. They are however “alternate history” and some may not think that would qualify.
I recommend the Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell (he of the “Sharpe” series): http://www.amazon.ca/Last-Kingdom-Bernard-Cornwell/dp/0060887184/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207858947&sr=1-2
Another fun one is Odinn’s Child: http://www.amazon.ca/Viking-Odinns-Child/dp/1405041129/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207859201&sr=1-1
Thanks for the prompt replies.
I’d be loathe to count this as real historical fiction, but Micheal Crichton’s “Eaters of the Dead” takes place in the Viking era, and is a darned good read. http://www.amazon.com/Eaters-Dead-Michael-Crichton/dp/0060891564/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207859677&sr=8-1
Red Orm by Franz G. Bengtsson was the basis for the motion picture The Long Ships, which starred the late Richard Widmark.
The book (my copy has been retitled The Long Ships to match the movie, and was released as a movie tie-in)is a good read, better than the book, but the movie is incredibly weird (Vikings sail to the Mediterranean and get involved in the search for a giant bell). The book covers much more than the movie, and has a believanble feel i its description of Viking life. Learn about portaging longships over Russian rivers!
There’s a lot on that book on Wikipedia:
Seconded. He’s currently four books into the series, which has his usual qualities of being immaculately researched, beautifully written and superbly readable. If you want to know what life was like as a Dane or a Saxon in 9th Century Britain under Alfred, these are the books to start with.
I second the Bengtsson and would also recommend The Soul Thief by Cecelia Holland; it has a couple of sequels but I’ve not read them yet… (Varanger was only out in hardback a couple of weeks ago)
And I know Janet Marillier has a couple out - Wolfskin and Foxmask. I have one of them on my shelves but I haven’t read it yet either…
Margaret Elphinstone is very good - you might like The Sea Road.
Lion of Ireland is about Brian Boru’s rise to the the High Kingship of Ireland by being the man most capable of resisting the marauding Northmen.
Third the Bengtsson - he knows how to tell a tale.
Hrolf Kraki’s Saga…I think it’s by Poul Anderson
Edward Rutherfurd’s Sarum has a chapter about the Vikings invading Wessex/England during the reign of Alfred the Great.
Poul Anderson’s short story The Man Who Came Early is a great one, even though it involves a bit of time travel.
You might like The Thrall’s Tale. I’m only about half way into the book, but it’s good so far and seems to be well researched (but I’m not an expert or anything, so I don’t really know). It’s about Viking life in Greenland circa 985AD.