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528 thoughts on “Discussions

  1. A reader recently sent me an email asking the following question. I thought I’d share my answer here.

    “How does strongbowsaga saga end? Dear Judson Roberts, Will there be a book 5 or conclusion to the strongbowsaga saga. I am wondering if Halfdan ever finds his sister and do they find the evil Toke? I have truly enjoyed reading your books. Thank you, J–D.”

    The Strongbow Saga will definitely have a conclusion. It’s a single story told across a number of books, rather than an open-ended, continuing series. There are two main elements of the story to complete: Will Halfdan be able to find and rescue Sigrid, and will he ultimately catch Toke and avenge the many deaths he has caused? My current plan is that the fifth book will wrap up the story. However, I do recognize that there is some chance that once the writing of book 5 gets fully underway, a process which for me includes in-depth research of various aspects of the story, it’s possible–not likely, but possible–that the end of the story might grow to become two books rather than one.

    Let me explain. When I began work on book 4, in my rough outline I was working from I fully expected the efforts to rescue Sigrid would be a part of that book. But as I researched my way east across the Baltic Sea, following the route that Halfdan and Hastein’s sea voyage would take, the details I discovered about the islands of Mon and Oland, and the coincidence of timing with events that were historically occurring in Birka, led me to expand the elements of the story set in those locations. And when researching in preparation for writing the sea battle, the tidbit I discovered about the skilled Finn archer who played a key role in a historical Viking sea battle led to the creation of Rauna and her father, and the roles they played in the story in book 4 (I’d been looking for a chance to introduce a new female character into Halfdan’s life). So by the time the story in book 4 reached Birka, it was apparent that the expedition to find Sigrid would have to be pushed into the fifth book.

    The final portion of the story, dealing with Toke, will primarily occur in Ireland, although a few elements will play out in Scandinavia. I’m essentially finished with my Ireland research, as I conducted it–including a trip this past summer to numerous locations in Ireland–at the same time I conducted the final research for The Beast of Dublin. But I still have considerable research to do for the Sigrid part of the story, which will take place in what is now Russia. So there’s where my uncertainty lies.

  2. After reading Cornwells “Saxon Stories”, i was searching for some new stuff. I read the extract in Germany any liked the story but not the way it was written. So I try to read the books in English (my first book in English) and after a few pages it was no difference than reading German. I enjoyed this books very much and look forward to see what’s coming with Halfdan and the others.

    I read of another book of you “beast of Dublin” is it still in work? Hope so.

    Greetings from Germany (Frankfurt) and thanks for your books!

    • Thank you, Sascha. So you did not like the German translation of Viking Warrior? I’m sorry if that’s the case, but I’m glad you enjoyed the English language versions. And yes, I’m currently working on finishing The Beast of Dublin, and hope to publish it later this year.

  3. I am grateful for reading your Strongbow saga books and pleased that you respect historical accuracy, even if Nordic sagas regarding earlier centuries are not accurate about Ragnar historical time, it is normally about that time to mark names and facts by skalds songs and rarely by writing runes…
    I found very interesting your relates about vikings habits, perception of life and death and sense of truth or law, especially common law(ex. nidingswark sense, feasts held on many occasions especially for honor each other). Why? Because earlier writings(like “History” by Herodot, “Roman History” by Dio Cassius, “Getica” by Iordanes) tell about Thracians(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thracians)-especially Getae tribes, about their habits and their spreads along the modern Europe(especially north people like Danes, Norse, est.). The name of Thracian came form early Greek term thrachium(north) – tribes of barbarians from north! They fight with spears and swords alongside shields, are very skilled with bows, early ritual of death was incineration(and pastoral tribes likes to bury along weapons, horses and most valuable things), they were fearless and looks at death with joy and dignity, the only opportunity to rise on their god Zamolxe with pride like warriors, the messengers send on Zamolxe are thrown into spears(sudden death means god accept to be favorable), and they have altars of sacrifice(mostly animals) to honor the gods and dead people…
    In short terms – you know something about that?

    • Some of the old Nordic sagas are more historical than others. The ones that mention Ragnar do seem to be much more tales of legend and fantasy than sagas such as Egil’s Saga and Njal’s Saga, which are heavily based in history.

      I’ve heard of the Thracians from studies many years ago–in college, I majored in ancient and medieval history–but my knowledge of them is very slight, and I don’t believe they have any connection to the Nordic peoples, who were Germanic in origin.

      • […]Proto-Germanic then evolved from the Indo-European spoken in the Urheimat region.[clarification needed] The succession of archaeological horizons suggests that before their language differentiated into the individual Germanic branches the Proto-Germanic speakers lived in southern Scandinavia and along the coast from the Netherlands in the west to the Vistula in the east around 750 BC.[…] (Lehmann, W. P. (1961). “A Definition of Proto-Germanic: A Study in the Chronological Delimitation of Languages)
        Among most known historians resides the unanimous accepted facts that pre-Thracians spoke also an Indo-European language and the Sumer was the cradle of all ancient civilisations; meantime, in 1961 in Tartaria are found 3 written tablets which are considered the earliest known form of writing in the world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tărtăria_tablets).
        Anyway, that is a long discussion who reclaim several feasts rich in ale and wine… i am sure that in time we will discover the same fascinating ancient roots!
        Keep going with your very well made books, i am sure that people all over the world wants to taste a large piece of vikings history.
        “We are the Norns, three women,
        who spin
        a thread each time someone is born.
        Weird, Verdandi and Skuld.
        We wander the world, spinning and spinning,
        where luck is born and where luck runs out,
        it’s fate that we’re making, the losing and winning,
        the sorrow and joy, the sickness and health,
        in labour, in love, in poverty and wealth.
        At the birth of your child we spin out its span,
        we’re Weird, Verdandi and Skuld.
        And our prophecies always, always, always comes true.”