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The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow

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The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow Cover

ISBN13: 9781883937010
ISBN10: 1883937019
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This turn-of-the-century novel by Allen French is in the style and tradition of the great Icelandic sagas and is set in the time just after Iceland had become Christian.

Synopsis:

Rolf, son of Hiarandi the Unlucky, is a character who exemplifies the effect of Christ's teachings upon the Icelandic people during their heroic age. The book is set in Iceland in the days when Christianity has come to the island though the old customs still linger. Hiarandi, at the urging of his wife, does an unprecedented thing: he lights a signal fire on a dangerous point of his land, thereby challenging the accepted custom which places lucrative salvage at higher value than the saving of life. However, the life that is saved that night causes his own death and the unjust outlawing of his son Rolf. Rolf's response to this injustice creates a suspense-ful, thought-provoking tale difficult to put down.

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Home School Book Review, December 20, 2012 (view all comments by Home School Book Review)
In about A. D. 1000 to 1010, a generation or so after the introduction of Christianity to Iceland, sixteen-year-old Rolf the son of Hiarandi the Unlucky lives with his father and mother Asdis at Cragness above Broadfirth. One stormy night, at the urging of his wife, Hiarandi lights a signal fire on a dangerous point of his land to save ships instead of letting them crash so that he could take their plunder. However, the life that is saved that night ends up causing Hiarandi’s own death. It is his brother Kiartan, whose later actions allow the neighbor of Hiarandi, Einar of Fellstead who covets Hiarandi’s land, to have Hiarandi unjustly declared an outlaw and even killed.

Rolf’s response to the slaying results in his being made outlaw by the same murderous neighbors. So he must flee Iceland, with his faithful cousin Frodi the smith, to the Orkney Islands where he is made a thrall by the proud Grani, must fight both Viking baresarks and Scottish invaders, and ultimately wins the great Viking bow with which he can prove his own innocence and avenge his father’s death. But will he and Frodi ever make it back to Iceland? And even if they do, how can they achieve their aims? Allen French (1870-1946), who also wrote The Red Keep, set in 1165 Burgundy, and The Lost Baron, set in 1200 Cornwall, tells a story based on Icelandic sagas that has an unpredictable plot and dynamic characters, and is filled with foreshadowing and irony.

Rolf is a character who exemplifies the effects of Christ’s teachings over the old barbaric customs of Iceland in that he upholds Christian values rather than pagan beliefs and promotes forgiveness instead of pride. Since the book is now in the public domain, several editions of it are available. We chose the Bethlehem Books edition because, frankly, I like Bethlehem Books and prefer to support them. But Dover Publications has an edition entitled The Story of Rolf: A Viking Adventure (2005); Yesterday's Classics has an edition using the original title The Story of Rolf and the Viking's Bow (2007); and Wilder Publications has an edition also titled The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow (2009). We did the book as a family read aloud, and everyone really liked it because of its excitement and adventure. Because of all the historical background information, it is a great way to assimilate history, especially of the Viking era, and Rolf serves as a good role model of manliness, courage, self-control, patriotism, and perseverance.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781883937010
Other:
French, Allen
Publisher:
Bethlehem Books
Author:
French, Allen
Location:
Vancouver, Wash. :
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Adventure and adventurers
Subject:
Middle ages
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Social Situations - Values
Subject:
Historical - Medieval
Subject:
Vikings
Subject:
Iceland
Subject:
Middle Ages -- Fiction.
Subject:
Iceland History To 1262 Fiction.
Subject:
Social Issues - Values
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction-Values and Virtues
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Copyright:
Series:
Living History Library
Series Volume:
93-545
Publication Date:
19970431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Kindergarten - Up
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.44x5.54x.75 in. .81 lbs.
Age Level:
05-UP

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Historical Fiction » Medieval
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Adventure
Humanities » Mythology » Nordic
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Values and Virtues

The Story of Rolf and the Viking Bow New Trade Paper
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Product details 256 pages Bethlehem Books - English 9781883937010 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Rolf, son of Hiarandi the Unlucky, is a character who exemplifies the effect of Christ's teachings upon the Icelandic people during their heroic age. The book is set in Iceland in the days when Christianity has come to the island though the old customs still linger. Hiarandi, at the urging of his wife, does an unprecedented thing: he lights a signal fire on a dangerous point of his land, thereby challenging the accepted custom which places lucrative salvage at higher value than the saving of life. However, the life that is saved that night causes his own death and the unjust outlawing of his son Rolf. Rolf's response to this injustice creates a suspense-ful, thought-provoking tale difficult to put down.
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