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453 thoughts on “Discussions

  1. Hello, Mr. Judson Roberts!

    I’ve been a fan for quite a few years. I blazed through books one, two, and three – waiting (rather impatiently, I might add) for each new installment, and then when there didn’t seem to be any information on any more books, I actually e-mailed you to get the skinny on what was happening. Your kind response helped me to respond to a similar inquiry from another fan on Amazon at the time.

    I’ve recently returned from doing a number of volunteer projects overseas, and “The Long Hunt” was one of the first books I picked up after my return. I just completed it yesterday, and am, of course, dealing with the void that happens when one completes a great book and wants to read more. I understand that I will have to wait until 2016 (I think that’s what I read) to complete Halfdan’s story, but what a great story it is! I have thoroughly enjoyed each installment, and I know you have a number of loyal fans who feel similarly. Good luck with the rest of your research and writing!

    On a somewhat related note (and perhaps you’ve already mentioned this somewhere), but I’ve been wondering if you’ve watched the History Channel series: “The Vikings,” and if so, what you thought of it. I haven’t watched it yet, but it looks interesting, so I may.

    And on another note, I’m so pleased that you and your wife have found a wonderful spot to live and enjoy, and very glad that your health – though still challenging at times – seems to be responding well to your new home (and diet?), as well!

    All the best…

    • Hello Heather,

      It’s good to hear from you, and thanks so much for your kind words.

      Regarding the History Channel’s series “Vikings,” I’ve watched two or three episodes, but couldn’t bear anymore. It does seem to be popular, though. I’m probably just too biased to be able to judge it purely for the entertainment value it provides. I try so hard to put out a historically accurate representation of what the Vikings and their world were really like, whereas this series engages in every inaccurate stereotype about them, is filled with ridiculous errors, and contains about as much historical accuracy as the old Arnold Schwartznegger Conan the Barbarian movies did–which is to say, virtually none at all.

      But as I said, I’m biased :-)

      • Oooh… Thank you so much for sharing your comments about “Vikings,” Judson! I knew that if you had seen any of the episodes, you would have an opinion on the historical accuracy. I had hoped, of course, that the series was more accurate in its portrayal of the people and times (especially since many of the reviews on Amazon make it sound that way), but I value your knowledge about the era and appreciate your honesty in your comments. I am certainly less likely to watch it now, but if I do try one or two episodes, it will be with a healthy grain of salt.

        Thanks again, and I look forward to the rest of Halfdan’s story (and more of Hastein’s too, for that matter)! :)


  2. Hi Judson. I was just wondering how your health was doing? It sounds like the move has been helpful. My wife also has MS so I know how it can be so up and down. Stay positive and keep on writing.

    • Hi Randy,

      Thanks so much for asking–that was very considerate. I’m sorry to hear your wife has MS, too. I hope hers is responding well to treatment. If you or she ever want to talk about it, please feel free to write me at strongbowsaga@gmail.com.

      My health overall is pretty good these days, although as you said, with MS it can be an up and down thing. Fortunately since our move to Oregon the down days aren’t too frequent, although I did happen to have one yesterday. We had a rare, for this time of year, dry and sunny day, so I spent some hours out working on our winter vegetable garden. But I was having a day with very low energy and a fair amount of pain, so it felt like I was dragging an anchor with every step. The down days do take a toll on how efficient I can be, whether it’s work on the farm or at my desk. But today I feel great, and my wife and I managed to fit a nice three mile hike in the mountains above our home in between the rain showers.

        • Thank you, Graham. I actually don’t take meds for my MS anymore. I did for the first few years after I was diagnosed–took the interferon injections, which often made me feel pretty sick on their own. But when they started affecting my liver function, I stopped. Since then, I’ve been self treating with exercise and a very healthy Mediterranean style diet: mostly organic, heavy on vegetables and fruits, lots of seafood, and what meat we do eat is mostly either venison or organically grown grass fed lamb. I can’t say for sure that the amount my MS has improved since its early days–and it has improved quite a lot–is due to the diet, but something is working.

  3. Downloaded your first book by accident and then forgot about it. Finally re-discovered it and decided, since I was bored, to give it a try. What a pleasant surprise! Very simple and spare writing style yet fully descriptive and fast moving. A little like Ken Follet, maybe. One quibble…would you please, please stop using “fire” when you mean “loose” as it pertains to arrows. Anachronism and therefore drives me nuts. No gunpowder…no “firing”. That said, I’m looking very forward to your remaining books. I like them better than even Cornwell’s Saxon Chronicles.

    • HI Mace,

      Thanks for writing, and I’m glad Viking Warrior pleasantly surprised you. Re: the use of the word “fire,” I’m well aware of the issue you mention. The command to shoot, to archers, before guns were invented, would have been “loose,” not “fire” –and that is the command I use in my books. But I have seen “fire” used in other contexts in relation to archery in old accounts pre-dating guns, including many of the Viking sagas, such as describing “missile fire.” I don’t know what the origin of the use of “fire” in that context would have been, but it is there. And if you think about it, it wouldn’t make sense to say “a heavy missile loose fell upon the attackers,” would it?

      • My guess is when “firing” a Trebuchet or Ballista the mechanisms could be unreliable or jam, and the quick solution would be to use a hot poker to burn through the firing rope.

        Anyhow if you are not to use “Fire” when referring to arrows as Mace suggests then he should also suggest that you not use “arrow” which did not come into use ’till much later as stræl was the old English word in use around the time in question.

        Better that you continue using words that we the readers understand.

        All the best and looking forward to the next book(s)!

        • Heavens yes, Graham! Or perhaps he should have written the whole thing in old Danish. My issue isn’t the language. I think “fire” just rings wrong as it pertains to launching, shooting, loosing or speeding arrows, even if some ancient language version of “fire” were used. That’s all. It jars me somehow. Like if Ragnar were to say “We need to hit the re-set button on this campaign”. It would make sense, we’d all understand it, it would just be out of period. Anyway, I like the books and I can accept that “fire” in this context has been used so commonly by now that most people would never be bothered by it. That is, it’s so ubiquitous that it has sort of transcended being anachronistic. My enjoyment of this adventure is only very slightly affected by it.