Recommended Reading

Non-Fiction Books

The following non-fiction books are excellent general readers about the Viking Age – beyond the basics which can be found on the Internet (see History and Useful Links sections, for selection of links).

The Vikings, by Else Roesdahl (1998)

Considered one of the prime books on Viking history, from one of the leading Danish authorities on the Viking Age.

Dark Age Naval Power, by John Haywood (1999)

With the sub-title: “Frankisk and Anglo-Saxon Seafaring Activity” – this book will change the way you view the Viking Age. The Viking Age was not a “sudden explosion from Scandinavia” nor driven by a “sudden breakthrough in ship-building technology”, but rather a natural evolution of events in northern Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire.

While the title may lead to the assumption that the book is a long review of one ship discovery and excavation after another, then this is far from reality. The book looks at the history of the Franks and Anglo-Saxons (and also touchs on the Chauvi, Jutes, Frisians), and in that light explores the role and impact of seafaring.

A History of the Vikings, by Gwyn Jones (2001)

Absolutely worth the read, if you are interested in getting deeper into the Viking Age. This book is a general reader on the Viking Age, however does dive into specifics as well.

The Hammer and The Cross, by Robert Ferguson (2010)

While making the tour around all the regions the Vikings reached and impacted, then this book does an excellent job of explaining how culture, belief and religion played a role in the Viking Age.

Fiction Books

The following books are high quality Viking-themed historical fiction at its best.

The Long Ships (Frans G. Bengtsson)

By many considered one of the true Viking classic books. There are plans to make this into both a TV mini series and a movie.

The Saxon Stories, a.k.a Warrior Chronicles (Bernard Cornwell)

The 10th book in the series came out in 2016, and maintains the same level of thrilling historic storytelling with a superb feel of authenticity. One of the best (and perhaps THE best) modern Viking-themed stories! The 8-part TV series “The Last Kingdom” which based on the first two books in the series premiered in 2015! Followed by season 2 in 2017, and upcoming season 3 announced for 2018.

The Last Kingdom (2004)
The Pale Horseman (2005)
The Lords of the North (2006)
Sword Song (2007)
The Burning Land (2009)
Death of Kings (2011)
The Pagan Lord (2013)
The Empty Throne (2014)
Warriors of the Storm (2015)
The Flame-Bearer (2016)
War of the Wolf (forthcoming 2018)

The Oathsworn Series (Robert Low)

Consisting of 5 books, this series of novels is about Viking adventure and being part of a band of brothers.

1. The Whale Road (2007)
2. The Wolf Sea (2008)
3. The White Raven (2009)
4. The Prow Beast (2010)
5. Crowbone (2012)

Kindred of the Sea series (C J Adrien)

Historical fiction series set in the early Viking Age. Authentic feel, and solid storytelling.

1. The Line of his People (2014)
2. The Oath of the Father (2015)