Review: Wolves of Wagria by Eric Schumacher


Three kingdoms. Two friends. Only one way to survive.

For fans of Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden comes the tale of Olaf Tryggvason and his adventures in the battle-scarred kingdom of Wagria.

It is AD 972. Olaf Tryggvason and his oath-sworn protector, Torgil, are once again on the move. They have left the Rus kingdom and now travel the Baltic Sea in search of plunder and fame. But a fateful storm lands them on the Vendish coastline in a kingdom called Wagria.

There, they find themselves caught between the aggression of the Danes, the political aspirations of the Wagrian lords, and the shifting politics in Saxland. Can they survive or will they become just one more casualty of kingly ambitions? 

Find out in this harrowing sequel to the best-selling Forged by Iron and Sigurd’s Swords.

My Review

In this book three of the series, Olaf and Torgil are obliged to go off on their own. Olaf has managed to offend Prince Vladimir—something to do with his wife—and Torgil is obligated to go into exile with him because he had  sworn to protect Olaf (apparently for his whole life). Torgil must leave behind his beloved and very pregnant wife Turid, much to his chagrin. So they go off on an adventure with a brand new boat and crew that Olaf has managed to cobble together. More accidentally than on purpose, they fall in with the Wagrians, who need their help against the Danes but don’t particularly trust them. On the other hand, their gold is tempting:

“I agree with Torgil,” added Sveinn. “We owe the Wagrians nothing, nor do we know what kind of army they can put in the field to stop the Danes. We may find ourselves in a lopsided match.”
Grumbles of support met Sveinn’s words.
“We have not yet agreed to anything with the Wagrians,” replied Olaf. “I meant only that we could name our price for facing the Danes. Here, we will find only scraps.”
Understanding dawned on their faces, and a few men smiled, including me.

So once again, Olaf gets his way, mostly through guile. They ended up with more than they bargained for, and the odds were certainly against them. But our Torgil is the clever one and comes up with a foolhardy plan to outsmart the enemy. Do they have any other choice? The story moves along at a good clip, and leaves us wanting more.

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