Merrimon Book Reviews

From Medieval Book Reviews
Taken By The Viking
Taken By The Viking
by Michelle Styles

A Medieval Viking romance that easily transports the reader!
Viken Haakon Haroldson comes to Lindisfarne, Northumbria with his felag to do business and more importantly to get the money lawfully owed him. In a flash of a second mayhem breaks out. A monk kills his man Erik and a blood lust drives Bjorn into a frenzy. Annis and her maidservant Mildred fled to hiding but no one is safe from the maddened beserker or the secret of what really happened in that room. As a business deal with the church turns into a raid, this strange handsome Viken protects Annis and then absconds with her, taking her to his homeland planning to ransom her and the captive monks. Haakon delivers the high born Annis of Birdoswald into the hands of his stepmother Gudrun and her maidservant Tove. Removed from all that she held dear, Annis must work with the other Viken women as she waits for the ransom that she knows may never come. Forced to work at demanding tasks, can she find joy in her captivity as she forms friendships and tries to maneuver among the internal household politics especially when her Lindisfarne home is so far away? As a Christian women whose uncle was Abbot of Lindisfarne, duty and faith compels her to protect the captive monks but her trust might just endanger herself and the monks! As the truth of the raid events comes to light can Haakon prevent a blood feud and protect the captive woman who has claimed his heart? Will one kiss lead to love?

In Taken By The Viking, Michelle Styles has an exquisite sense for detail that transports the reader into the landscape scenes and the community. Michelle Styles grabs the reader's heart with her portrayal of Annis's faith and her commitment to the monks. At the same time, Taken By The Viking creates an intriguing contrast between Annis and the Lindisfarne Abbot and the monk Aelfric showing the political and less idealistic sides of religious life in the Middle Ages. Through her secondary characters and her detailed settings, Michelle Styles creates a wonderfully felt contrast between the two cultures of the Viking world and Lindisfarne, including their economic differences and the resulting differences in their daily lives and concerns.

With its subplots, community portrait and descriptive detail, Taken By The Viking reads like fiction without sacrificing the romance because Michelle Styles makes the reader feel and understand the Viking community. Secondary characters and the inside view of home politics among the men and women adds depth of character and exciting, dramatic subplots. All those elements give a rich depth to Taken By The Viking, making the hero and heroine more real, more memorable to me. I cared for them and I did not want this book to end. Taken By The Viking is a good example of what medieval romance can be for people who love Medieval literature/history and romance. Michelle Styles allows the reader to see domestic scenes that are less available to readers of Old Norse literature. Michelle Styles combines impeccable research into the time period with her experience of writing romance in other periods to bring the story and the Medieval time period more alive in the imagination and heart.

Publisher: Harlequin (May 2008)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Medieval Book Reviews
Merrimon Book Reviews

Custom Search

Copyright Merrimon Crawford  2008  All Rights Reserved