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The Whale Road
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The first in a brand new series charting the adventures of the Oathsworn, a band of Vikings on the chase for the secret hoard of Attila the Hun. Life is savage aboard a Viking raider. When young Orm Rurikson is plucked from the snows of Norway to join his estranged father on the Fjord Elk, he becomes an unlikely member of a notorious crew. They are the Oathsworn -- so named after the spoken bond that ties them in brotherhood -- and they ply a casual trade on the ocean wave, selling their swords to the highest bidder. But times are changing. Loyalty to the old Norse Gods is fading, and the followers of the mysterious 'White Christ' are gaining power across Europe. Hired as relic-hunters by the merchant rulers of a bustling city, the Oathsworn are sent in search of a legendary sword of untold value to the new religion. With only a young girl as guide, their quest will lead them onto the deep and treacherous waters of the 'whale road', toward the cursed treasure of Attila the Hun. And to a challenge that will test the very bond that holds them together. A significant new voice in historical fiction, Robert Low has created a startlingly modern tale in the style of the great Viking sagas. A heady mix of powerful suspense, blockbuster battles and religious intrigue, THE WHALE ROAD is a must for fans of Bernard Cornwell and Tim Severin. It heralds a major new series sure to hook old and new readers alike.
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Promotional Information

/ Lead title The first in a brand new series charting the adventures of the Oathsworn, a band of Vikings on the chase for the secret hoard of Attila the Hun. / From the publishers of Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden, 'The Whale Road' is a gripping and epic saga. / Stunning debut novel that marks the start of a major new series. / Timely entry into a burgeoning market for Viking sagas. / The author lives in Largs, Scotland, where the Vikings were finally defeated and expelled from the UK. / Competition: Bernard Cornwell; Tim Severin; Simon Scarrow; Conn Iggulden; Andy McNab

About the Author

Robert Low has been a journalist and writer since the age of 17. He covered the wars in Vietnam, Sarajevo, Romania and Kosovo until common-sense and the concerns of his wife and daughter prevailed. To satisfy his craving for action, having moved to an area rich in Viking tradition, he took up re-enactment, joining The Vikings. He now spends summers fighting furiously in helmet and mail in shieldwalls all over Britain and winters training hard. This is his first novel. He lives in Scotland with his wife.

Reviews

British journalist Low's debut novel is a rousing, sprawling saga of Viking warriors and the quest for hidden treasure. The adventure begins in A.D. 965, when 15-year-old Orm Ruriksson-aka Orm the Bear Slayer-joins the Oathsworn, a band of raiders that includes his father, Rurik, and is led by the ruthless Einar the Black. After hearing a tale about "a mountain of silver" that once belonged to Attila the Hun, the band sets out to find it, accompanied by a madwoman who claims to know the treasure's location. The daunting journey becomes more treacherous as competitors also race for the prize. Bluetooth, the King of the Danes and the Norwegians, covets the treasure for himself, and an unscrupulous Catholic monk joins the chase, not for the silver but for the "Spear of Destiny"-the spear that pierced Christ's side on the cross and was later forged into Attila's sword. Low mixes history, archeology, mythology and nonstop, often-sanguinary action into a fast-moving adventure tale. (Aug.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

'A company of warriors, desperate battles, an enthralling read' BERNARD CORNWELL 'A fantastic book, one of the best I have read for years. There's a wonderful earthiness to proceedings and he creates a tangible sense of being there. There's a sturdy, lyrical and epic quality about the writing which makes it feel like the kind of saga a Viking would recount in his old age.' SIMON SCARROW 'A stirring Viking series of blockbuster battles and religious intrigue.' Publishing News

Adult/High School-Fifteen-year-old Orm wakes from senselessness to find that he has been acclaimed a hero for having slain the local menace-a gigantic bear. Only Orm knows that, far from killing the animal, he ran from it, and it died in a fall while chasing him. He joins the Oathsworn, a band of mercenary warriors on a quest to find the lost treasure hoard of Attila the Hun. Orm struggles to live up to his fearsome reputation, learning to distinguish friend from foe, truth from falsehood, and leadership from treachery. However, only when the Oathsworn at last find Attila's lost tomb does Orm discover his destiny. Set in northern Europe in the late 10th century, Low's novel reveals a ruthless world rife with dirt and disease, danger and death, where safety is at best temporary, and a trustworthy friend can save your life. This is a solid coming-of-age novel with more than a hint of swashbuckling and Raiders of the Lost Ark.-Sandy Schmitz, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Fostered out to his uncle after the death of his mother, Orm Rurikson remembers little of life with his father until he is conscripted at the age of 15 to go a-Viking. Believed by the crew of the ship his father pilots to be favored by the gods after he single-handedly kills a polar bear (or so they think), Orm becomes one of the Oathsworn. Together, these tenth-century marauders, committed only to one another and to their captain, travel the whale road, from the fjords of Norway to the steppes of Russia, selling their swords to the highest bidder and seeking the legendary lost treasure of Attila the Hun. The first in a trilogy, British journalist Low's debut novel of high adventure on the open seas is about as good as it gets; his tale of harrowing deeds, violent clashes between warring factions, and betrayal and revenge is sure to appeal to fans of Bernard Cornwell's historical series about the Danes and Saxons in ninth-century Britain (e.g., The Last Kingdom). Highly recommended for all popular fiction collections.-Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage P.L., AK Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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