Top positive review
Life and Times of the Vikings
June 1, 2017
The balance of Ragnar's life and the history of Vikings throughout parts of Western Europe is tasteful, well-done, and descriptive. I found the Vikings' origins and their progression through Europe interesting and well-presented in a solid, consecutive manner. The presentation of their historical timeline made it easier to follow along and understand the information, as well as gain a credible amount of knowledge on the subject matter. Most of this information cannot be found readily or easily, so it was nice to see Brown really took his research seriously. The author paid great attention to detail with writing this book and even included a whole section of quotes by Ragnar himself and his crew. Though I would've liked to see his quotes distributed more heavily throughout his section where they were more applicable to the current story being told, it was also very impressive to see the list of them laid out for us.
Ragnar's section was very interesting as well - it gave the readers a solid character to follow through the first part of the novel and provided us with a strong example for a good Viking figure. I've read a decent number of Celtic legends and folk tales, and Ragnar's section had a similar, relate-able, story-feel to it that reminded me of these tales. His presentation, adventures, and brave, true character heightened the positive image of the Viking, which served as a strong setup for the rest of the Viking history. My only qualm here is that Ragnar's story almost took a backseat once Chapter 2 came along, and I would've liked to see some of his information expanded upon so that we could get a more even taste of both his life and the Viking in general.
Overall, a solid read, and a great way to find out more about Vikings. Would recommend.