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The Story of Rolf and the Viking's Bow

Allen French

Book Overview: 

Rolf, a youth in early Christian Iceland, loses first his father, then his property, and finally his freedom to the schemes of a greedy neighbor. Outlawed from Iceland, Rolf travels abroad, meeting with shipwreck, enslavement, Viking berserkers, and many other dangers and adventures. All the while, Rolf searches for a way to prove his father was killed unjustly and win back his own property and freedom. Even more difficult, Rolf must end the cycle of enmity, vengeance, and pride that hangs like a curse over his family.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Einar gloomily.

"I like it not," said Ondott, "that Hiarandi should know this spite his brother has done thee, and yet be free himself. In the old days, which are not so long past, a man would have gone against Hiarandi with weapons. And he hath no relatives to harm thee."

"For all that," answered Einar, "the men of the Quarter would not like it. Lawfully must vengeance be taken, or not at all. Yet it is hard if my money and thy wit cannot rid me of these brothers, who anger me, and Hiarandi more than Kiartan." And he looked across at Cragness with fretting.

"Well mayest thou say that," answered Ondott, "for there stands Hiarandi's hall, which he cannot fill, while thou in thine art cramped for room. It is plainly true what people say, that thou canst never come into the honor which should be thine, while thou livest here, where strangers take thee for Hiarandi's tenant, or even his freedman."

"They take me for his fre. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The story is one set in Christian Iceland, in the years when still the heathen Vikings were a living memory, and life was much the same, save for the new faith. And it is this time and what exactly the new faith meant for these people with the legacy of Viking civilization that Allen French wants to

This is my least favorite Allen French book I've read. While the story and characters were very intriguing, I found myself not liking the fantasy elements. Unlike French's other story's, this book strays away from reality by featuring a ghost. It was a pretty creepy scene to, which disturbed me. Als

Very well done, I thought a very unusual and unexpected plot line. Historical fiction at its best.

Loved this quote from author note at Allen French in the afterward: "If a man takes his work seriously, and himself not too seriously, he has a good chance of doing something worth while."

Cannot recommend this highly enough. Staggeringly good.

I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who loved (and was awed by) this story. I honestly never thought a whole lot of people read or remember it!
When I read it for the first time, I was so in awe of the power of the story’s crucial lesson interwoven throughout. Here, in this work of historical

Rolf, son of Hiarandi the Unlucky, is a character who exemplifies the effect of Christ's teachings upon the Icelandic people during their heroic age. The book is set in Iceland in the days when Christianity has come to the island though the old customs still linger. Hiarandi, at the urging of his wi

This was fun. Honestly better than I thought it would be. Action & adventure, Icelanders, Vikings & Scots, long summers & cold dark winters, the brave young & wise aged, a new religion & ghostly legends, bold virtue & moral voids, laws & outlaws, swords & bows & cliffs & boats & shipwrecks & honor &

A ripping story, well-written with a satisfying ending.

Finished this story with a tear in my throat and a lump in my eye. Even better than I remember. Full review to come!

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