Saga: A Novel of Medieval Iceland by Jeff Janoda
Jeff Janoda brings us a masterful retelling of the ancient Saga of the People of Eyri, set in feudal Iceland, ""the Free State"" of 965 AD. Saga tells the story of the savage rituals of feud and sacrifice brought by settlers from Norway, and their new competing beliefs in a democratic legal assembly and a code of restraint.When Thorolf the Viking trades away his valuable lands to spite his son, Arnkel, the ruthless Norse chieftain vows to regain the land at all costs. Robbed of his rightful inheritance, Arnkel begins a venomous feud with his neighbors and with rival chieftain Snorri - a lawless dispute destined to end in betrayal and death.Janoda's characters are eloquently wrought, their passions and pagan beliefs brought to life in a tale over a thousand years old. He renders fantastical elements like spirits and elves as vividly as their human counter-parts, illuminating the harshness of life in a society on the brink of modernity, yet isolated in the farthest reaches of the planet.