"Hilarious! Vain Viking Determined to Make his Mark on Winsome Scottish Witch"
What do an inept Scottish witch and a handsome and virile
Viking warrior, with an er somewhat obvious flaw, have in
common? Why love, laughter, and mayhem, of course AND ... a
I love the humor in Ms. Hills books, and that is found
abundance in THE BLUE VIKING but even more I love
the way her
characters overcome their life's burdens through that
laughter and love.
For the past five years Rurik (you will remember him from
the Bewitched Viking) has been a laughing stock among his
Viking comrades. Strong, handsome, and virile, he has only
one great flaw. Right down the middle of his face! The
prominent blue zig zag which stretches from brow to chin,
is the legacy of his love 'em and leave 'em ways. He's
spent the past three years actively searching Scotland for
the beautiful witch who put it there.
Why? Well the jibes were bad enough, but his betrothed has
given him just three years to find the wench and have the
disfigurement removed ... or the wedding is off. Well, it
isn't as if he loves her, but his friends Eirik, Tykir,
and Selik, are all happily settled and it had seemed like
the thing to do at the time. A Viking princess was
definitely not a bad match, and perhaps he wouldn't mind
belonging to someone just a little bit.
Is Rurik a bit vain? Oh yeah! But there is more to the
pain his friends taunts arouse, than meets the eye. Rurik
had been born the son of a Jarl, not that that had done him
any good. He'd been born too soon, frail, and ill. His
noble father had not wanted to claim such as he. He'd been
left naked in the snow to perish, but had been found and
taken in by a local pig farmer. Ever filthy and scrawny, he
had been the victim of every brute bigger and older than
himself. He had vowed to grow into the biggest and
handsomest Viking there ever was.
He had cut quite a swath through the ladies too, until the
day he made the grievous mistake of bedding one Maire of
the Moors. She'd wanted to go away with him. He'd laughed.
The ugly blue mark down the center of his face had been the
result. Hence his search for the witch.
Maire had been successful in evading Rurik until now. Too
much was a stake. She'd risked the wrath of her betrothed
and foisted another man's child upon him, but she would not
allow the boy's father to take him away from her. What
Rurik didn't know wouldn't hurt her. Alas, the brother of
her late husband, wanted her clans lands for himself. He
would wed her willing or not.
Rurik found her hanging from a cage, feebly attempting to
escape by magical means without success. Though he has his
own score to settle with the witch, he feels only rage for
one who would torment someone clearly weaker than himself.
He promises to help Maire hold her clan's property, in
exchange for removal of the infamous mark.
The problem is Maire has no idea how to get rid of it.
Rurik promised her she will put his own mark upon her ...
everyday until the mark is removed! But will she leave a
new mark upon his heart?
This book was hilarious. Rurik's band of warriors include
Bolthor the Giant, the world's worst skald (on loan from
Tykir), a pair of oversexed twins, a hero worshipping
lad, and a Viking berserker, all of whom elicit aarghs
from our fierce Viking. By the time Rurik realizes that
he's in over his head, Maire has discovered the truth about
his betrothal. His efforts to win her back will have the
reader rolling on the floor. Moreover the bond he forges
with another filthy, scrappy lad will truly warm the heart.
This one's a keeper. More Vikings on the way. I can't wait!
Copyright © 2001
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted February 26, 2002