The Wolf Age by Tore Skeie

Synopsis

Thrilling history provides a new perspective on the Viking-Anglo Saxon conflicts and brings the bloody period vividly to life, perfect for fans of Dan Jones

The first major book on Vikings by a Scandinavian author to be published in English, The Wolf Age reframes the struggle for a North Sea empire and puts readers in the mindset of Vikings, providing new insight into their goals, values, and what they chose to live and die for.

Tore Skeie (“Norway’s Most Important Young Historian”) takes readers on a thrilling journey through the bloody shared history of England and Scandinavia, and on across early medieval Europe, from the wild Norwegian fjords to the wealthy cities of Muslim Andalusia.

Warfare, plotting, backstabbing and bribery abounds as Skeie skillfully weaves sagas and skaldic poetry with breathless dramatization as he entertainingly brings the world of the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons to vivid life.

In the eleventh century, the rulers of the lands surrounding the North Sea are all hungry for power. To get the power they need soldiers, to get soldiers they need silver, and to get silver there is no better way than war and plunder.

This vicious cycle draws all the lands of the north into a brutal struggle for supremacy and survival that will shatter kingdoms and forge an empire…

Extracts

“In the year 975, a comet came into view above Anglo-Saxon England. It appeared on one of the first days of August, when the summer was at its hottest and farming peasants were at their most hungry, busy reaping and grinding the first corn. High up in the firmament, they saw a hazy but intense ball of light with flames radiating from it on one side, “like golden hair on a human head”. It fell slowly sideways, towards the north-east.

Among those who observed this strange phenomenon with both interest and unease were the learned Benedictine monks who wrote the annals that would eventually be collected and compiled and known as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. It is this work we have to thank for much of our knowledge of England during what, for us, is a very distant age. In a society where almost nothing was written down, these humble servants of God with their cowls and shaved heads kept tabs on the course of history outside monastery walls. In the form of brief notes and comments, they recorded information about kings’ travels through the kingdom, about bishops’ Church meetings, about nobles’ endless petty feuds—and about unusual natural phenomena.” (Medievalists.net, 2023)

 

Editorial Review

Explore the captivating history of the North Sea Empire in Tore Skeie’s engaging novel, ‘The Wolf Age: The Vikings, The Anglo-Saxons and the Battle for the North Sea Empire,’ now available in its first major English translation. This historical period, often overlooked, is skillfully brought to life in a narrative that is as exhilarating as it is informative.

The novel centers around the North Sea Empire, a unique thalassocracy formed under Viking king Sweyn Forkbeard, encompassing Denmark, England, and Norway. This union, although short-lived from 1016 CE to 1042 CE, marked one of the Vikings’ final significant historical contributions before evolving into the medieval kingdoms we recognize today.

Skeie’s book is a rare blend of riveting storytelling and meticulous research, setting it apart from typical historical non-fiction. Readers are introduced to an array of remarkable Viking and Anglo-Saxon personalities, from the King of Wessex, Æthelred, to the influential Bishop of York, Wulfstan, and beyond.

Significant attention is also paid to Snorri Sturluson, the 12th-century Icelandic scholar whose work greatly influenced our understanding of Norse sagas and history. Skeie’s portrayal of Sturluson’s life offers a compelling glimpse into one of the Nordic region’s most esteemed medieval literary figures.

Skeie masterfully combines well-researched facts with engaging, witty writing, painting a vivid picture of an era filled with heroic figures and fierce challenges. This historical narrative is an ideal companion for holiday relaxation, whether by a cozy fireside or a sunny beach.

‘The Wolf Age’ is a fascinating exploration of the political and social intricacies of the North Sea Empire, providing readers with both entertainment and insight. Available for purchase on Amazon, this novel is a must-read for those intrigued by medieval history and epic storytelling

Other Editorial Reviews

“The turbulent [Second Viking Age] that straddles the first millennium is brought to life in a history worthy of a modern television epic.”
Financial Times

“Skeie’s account of ruthless conflict, political intrigue, and diplomatic machinations reads like a real-life Game of Thrones—without the dragons. Medieval history buffs will be riveted”
–Publishers Weekly

“In a time when little actual history was written down, the exploits of the Norse have been handed down through skaldic poems and sagas. Skeie blends known facts with details from the poems and produces a wonderful tale of the battles across Scandinavia, Europe and England for power and wealth. The narrative is eminently readable and the betrayals and backstabbing are beyond belief but there is much about everyday life and politics in Anglo-Saxon lands as well as the Norse homelands. Managing to be both scholarly and populist, this is a great book.” (Read Reviews of the Wolf Age: The Vikings, the Anglo-Saxons and the Battle for the North Sea Empire (Paperback) by Tore Skeie, Alison McCullough | Waterstones, 2023)–Jo-anne Atkinson

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The Wolf Age: The Vikings, the Anglo-Saxons and the Battle for the North Sea Empire by Tore Skeie
The Wolf Age: The Vikings, the Anglo-Saxons and the Battle for the North Sea Empire by Tore Skeie
Genre: Non-fiction history
Age Range: Adult
Start Rating: 4 stars
Publication Date: 8th November 2022
ISBN13: 978-1782278351

 

Author: Tore Skeie

Tore Skeie

Tore Skeie

Tore Skeie (born September 19, 1977 in Oslo) is a Norwegian historian, prose writer, and critic. He is a regular columnist and book reviewer for Klassekampen. He has published three books about medieval periods with Alv Erlingsson, Ingebjørg Håkonsdatter, and Olav Haraldsson as the main characters.

Skeie studied history at the University of Oslo and completed a master’s thesis on the nobleman Alv Erlingsson in 2006. He has written several books and articles on Norwegian medieval history. He made his debut in 2009 with the book Alv Erlingsson: The Story of a Nobleman’s Downfall. The manuscript for the book won the publisher’s history competition in 2008, where among others Dag Solstad was on the jury. The book about Alv Erlingsson received very good reviews.

Skeie’s second book, The Maiden from Norway, was published in 2012 and dealt with power alliances and arranged marriages in the 1300s in the Nordic region. It also received very good coverage and was nominated for the critic award in the category of prose.

In 2018, Skeie published the book Hvitekrist: About Olav Haraldsson and his time. The book was based on Olav’s participation in the Danish king’s raids and campaigns to England. It received good reviews. In 2019, Skeie was awarded the Sverre Steen Prize from the Norwegian Historical Association for Hvitekrist for outstanding history communication at a high academic level.

 

Sources

  • Bidragsytere til Wikimedia-prosjektene. (2013, September 26). norsk middelalderhistoriker og forfatter. Wikipedia.org; Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tore_Skeie‌

  • Medievalists.net. (2023, February 6). New Medieval Books: The Wolf Age: The Vikings, the Anglo-Saxons and the Battle for the North Sea Empire – Medievalists.net. Medievalists.net. https://www.medievalists.net/2023/02/new-medieval-books-the-wolf-age-the-vikings-the-anglo-saxons-and-the-battle-for-the-north-sea-empire/

  • Read Reviews of The Wolf Age: The Vikings, the Anglo-Saxons and the Battle for the North Sea Empire (Paperback) by Tore Skeie, Alison McCullough | Waterstones. (2023). Waterstones.com. https://www.waterstones.com/books/reviews/isbn/9781782278351#review-276421

  • TVH. (2022, December 27). Book review: The Wolf Age – The Vikings, The Anglo-Saxons and the Battle for the North Sea Empire. The Viking Herald. https://thevikingherald.com/article/book-review-the-wolf-age-the-vikings-the-anglo-saxons-and-the-battle-for-the-north-sea-empire/366

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