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3.9 out of 5
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  • Gudrid and Columbus

    2.5 Stars The best bit of this book for me was the Viking Sagas and the little dollops of history served out at the beginning of the book. The story of the Vikings and their exploration to unknown territories is endlessly interesting and I think there is little doubt they discovered the land now known as America long before the accepted discovery in the 15th Century. The only problem with that is there is no hard archaelogical evidence to support the theory. In this book Michael Ridpath takes that and runs with it - a letter from Columbus to his brother is found in the Vatican Secret archives appearing to detail information from Icelandic Sagas that leads him to America. Couple this with the finding of wampum shells at a Nordic settlement in Greenland and it would seem that the proof finally exists. Unfortunately for the team making a documentary about the wanderings of Gudrid and her family this leads them to discover the brutal murder of a young archaeologist at a site closely linked to Gudrid and they could all be in danger. Sadly for this reader it all then falls apart somewhat. I found there to be little in the way of sympathetic characters in the book and there are a lot of loose ends left untied at the end. As this is just one of a series of books around Magnus Ragnarsson then I can understand that but it does mean it loses a little as a stand alone read; this is a pity as knowledge of the previous books in the series is not necessary to read this one - indeed we are told so much of Magnus' history that it may be of a detriment to have read earlier books. The thriller aspect of the tale is pretty standard fare but I found that I could not really become interested in the who or why; it was all just a little bit flat. The writing itself is good and does evoke Iceland and Greenland very nicely and actually makes them seem like a great destination to visit. What it doesn't do is immerse you in the characters so you care about what is happening, or the who or the why. Pretty standard fare that is an easy read but doesn't really involve you as more than an observer. I RECEIVED A FREE COPY OF THIS BOOK FROM READERS FIRST IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.

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  • Thoroughly enjoyable and satisfying

    This has all the elements I enjoy in a detective story: an ntriguing plot, a ikeable detective and a believable background. Iceland and Greenland add a dramatic setting, so well evoked by Michael Ridpath that I found myself searching out maps and photos and dreaming of visiting them.

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  • Exciting and fascinating!

    I am supposed to be doing an essay but had to finish this book first, very gripping and satisfying.

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