Start of a Viking Saga with a Difference
This is a book that’s been on my to-read pile for some time. I can say it has been worth the wait. Suzie Wilde evokes a harsh and bitter Viking world as visceral and believable as that of the popular TV series The Vikings. The mythology and beliefs are woven through the book using authentic vocabulary without rendering the book impenetrable. Indeed, it is in the choice of keeping the dialogue modern in the main that keeps the story rattling along like a ship with a strong following wind. Some might argue that the use of some words like “bint”* is an anachronism too far, however my own opinion is that if we don’t allow some leeway, the author may as well write in Old Norse. Who can read that apart from a few scholars? Not me.
“Sea Paths” wears its research lightly and any turgid exposition is evaded by believable dialogue between characters showing the reader this very different world and time. Some of the description of the sea voyages is deliciously pellucid. The drama and peril escape the page and into the imagination in vivid style.
Bera herself is a teenager becoming a woman and though you may wish to give her a good shaking from time-to-time (I’m told teenagers can provoke this reaction) her journey to acceptance of herself and her Valla† powers is an entirely believable one.
I thoroughly enjoyed Ms Wilde’s book and am looking forward to reading the sequel “Obsidian” .
∗bint Arabic loan word made popular from 19th Century onwards by returning soldiers who had served in the Middle East
†Valla Viking seer