Winner of the British Fantasy Award: The ancient legend of the Danish Viking king is retold in a tale of vengeance, battles, magic, and monsters.
In the court of the Anglo-Saxon king, a visiting storyteller regales the assembled nobles with the enthralling tale of her faraway land’s most revered hero: the Viking Hrolf Kraki. Born of an incestuous union into a royal family with a history of violence, jealousy, usurpation, and murder, Hrolf assembled a loyal band of the mightiest champions in the realm and expanded his small kingdom through wisdom, courage, and conquest. Unbeaten on the battlefield, his great deeds and victories became legends throughout the North as he ushered in an era of peace and prosperity. But Hrolf’s desire for vengeance was ever the warrior-king’s driving force, as he sought the truth about his father’s murder. This obsession would threaten Hrolf’s life and his rule—and ultimately bring his great kingdom to ruin.
Poul Anderson, one of the acknowledged giants of twentieth-century fantasy, employs his unparalleled storytelling talents to bring Denmark’s great Viking king to life. A saga that predates the stories of King Arthur and his knights and Shakespeare’s Hamlet, while echoing the Oedipus and Beowulf myths, the Norse legend of Hrolf Kraki takes on a new and breathtaking richness in this classic novel the Guardian described as “full of thrills.”
About the author
Poul Anderson (1926–2001) grew up bilingual in a Danish American family. After discovering science fiction fandom and earning a physics degree at the University of Minnesota, he found writing science fiction more satisfactory. Admired for his “hard” science fiction, mysteries, historical novels, and “fantasy with rivets,” he also excelled in humor. He was the guest of honor at the 1959 World Science Fiction Convention and at many similar events, including the 1998 Contact Japan 3 and the 1999 Strannik Conference in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Besides winning the Hugo and Nebula Awards, he has received the Gandalf, Seiun, and Strannik, or “Wanderer,” Awards. A founder of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, he became a Grand Master, and was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.
In 1952 he met Karen Kruse; they married in Berkeley, California, where their daughter, Astrid, was born, and they later lived in Orinda, California. Astrid and her husband, science fiction author Greg Bear, now live with their family outside Seattle.
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