Born a Viking: Blót – Riccardo Polacci *Review*

Cover image of Born a Viking: Blót by Riccardo Polacci is in the centre of an image of wooden slats. Added text: Can Sigurd trust in what a Norse god tells him?

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Fantasy | Release Date: 26 September 2023 | Series: Born a Viking | Series Books: #1 | Pages: 275 | Publisher: Library & Archives Canada/Government of Canada | Review

“I would face my death.”

Riccardo Polacci

Overview:

A huge thank you goes to Riccardo Polacci for letting me read a copy of Born a Viking: Blót! This tale was an adventure in the historical fiction genre, but with a fantasy twist as the Norse deities make their presence known. How could I pass up an opportunity to live and breathe a Viking life?! But let’s give you an overview before we go any further…

Travelling with his family on a spiritual pilgrimage to honour the gods, young Sigurd soon discovers that his father is more than what he seems. A reserved and intense man, Eirik is actually one of the shaman warriors of Odin. But this doesn’t grant him any favours at the blót; in fact, most of those who’ve gathered prefer to think Odin has very little power left. When a brutal murder occurs, it’s up to Sigurd to find a way forward. Can he make peace with the tragic events in Uppsala? How can a boy face off against mighty warriors who are at least twice his age? Has Odin laid a destructive path at Sigurd’s feet for the greater good?

Cover image of Born a Viking: Blót by Riccardo Polacci is to the bottom left of a darkened image of an axe and two swords or daggers. Added text: Hearts and minds will be tested at a spiritual gathering... Will Sigurd survive what comes?
Welcome to a brutal and unforgiving world…

Happiness Boost:

Born a Viking: Blót has been an immersive read, one which completely transported me to the era of Vikings and fierce deities. Riccardo intertwines reality with fantasy within these pages, and he does it so skilfully. When you get squeamish, purely from the words you’re reading? You know it’s good writing! It has to be a happiness boost for me, because it’s not very often I get to experience moments like this.

Although we’re obviously drawn to the world through Sigurd’s eyes, let’s talk about one of the female characters, okay? The grandmother’s life has clearly not been an easy one, having already lost one son (Harald) and knowing that Eirik could also be taken from her at any point. But she’s a canny, wily woman. And I love that Sigurd has her as one of his role models! If more stories had older women in them, I think the bookish world would be an even more interesting realm.

Riccardo’s writing gives readers an insight into the harsh world Sigurd lives in, but there’s also moments of light comic relief. It can’t be easy to add this to such a bleak world, but in Born a Viking: Blót we’re treated to a number of antics. It felt like such a gift, to witness Eirik joking with his mother. Even Odin has his moments, which surprised me! The things we learn about the god of war and death…

Downside:

This historical fantasy has been a wonderful read! Some readers may feel like the beginning starts out a little slow, but persist with it, dear glitterbugs. You won’t be sorry!

Final Thoughts:

Born a Viking: Blót by Riccardo Polacci is a historical fiction with a fantasy twist, delving into the hearts of Vikings and their gods. If you love a story which will weave some magic into your bones, making you yearn to learn more about Norse history and mythology? This book will be just right for you! Love what you’ve heard from my review? Just click on any of the links below to get your own copy of this tale! Happy reading, glitterbugs!

You can order Born a Viking: Blót via these links:

Amazon | Blackwell’s | Fishpond

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