The Thrall's Tale

The Thrall's Tale

Book - 2006
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Set in Viking Greenland in AD 985, this dramatic historical novel focuses on the intertwined lives of three women straddling the pagan past and Christian futureA vividly imagined chronicle of love, hatred, and revenge at a time when the Vikings were exploring to new worlds, Judith Lindbergh’s spectacular debut novel takes its inspiration from Old Norse Sagas and creates the riveting story of a beautiful slave, her ill-begotten daughter, and their maligned but powerful mistress.Lindbergh spent the last ten years researching and writing The Thrall’s Tale. This monumental work, illustrated with maps and accompanied by historical notes, will surely appeal to readers of Norse history and sagas as well as to fans of great historical fiction like Anita Diamant’s The Red Tentand Sena Jeter Naslund’s Ahab’s Wife. “Every once in a while, a writer creates a novel that opens our eyes to a lost world. Arthur Golden achieved this with "Memoirs of a Geisha," and now Judith Lindbergh has performed a similar feat...Gripping and wholly original…a story that transports through time and place, but always remains anchored in the unchanging territory of the human heart.” —Geraldine Brooks, author of Year of Wonders "The Thrall's Taleis not only a wonderfully rich historical novel, it resonates strongly into our current age with its exploration of religion-driven cultures in collision. The voices of the story are pitch-perfectly convincing...Judith Lindbergh is a greatly gifted novelist and she has created an enchanted and provocative reading experience." —Robert Olen Butler, winner of the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction "Lindbergh is a master storyteller, deftly weaving meticulously researched detail with unforgettable characters. This novel satisfies on every level …The plot unfolds with the suspense of a thriller, and you'll stay up all night to follow the many transformations of Katla's life. With The Thrall's Tale, Judith Lindbergh emerges as one of the finest historical novelists in recent years." —Jonis Agee, author of The Weight of Dreams
Publisher: Viking, 2006
ISBN: 9780670034642
Branch Call Number: AF LIND


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Apr 19, 2017

I did not like this book at all. The only reason I checked it out was it was recommended by the Library Journal . They had written a negative review of Betsy Tobin's "Ice Land", which I adored, and praised The Thrall's Tale, claiming it was better. Not! It was a huge disappointment and waste of time. Although the beginning was interesting, the rest was boring, dark and very depressing. I quit halfway through. Perhaps the author intended to portray a bleak time. If so, she certainly succeeded.

Apr 04, 2008

Katla, whose mother was a Christian Irishwoman kidnapped in a Viking raid, has grown up a thrall (slave) in Viking Iceland. When her master Einar decides to follow Erik the Red to establish a Norse settlement on Greenland, Katla is taken along. Unfortunately, she finds herself on the receiving end of unwanted attention from Einar's son Torvard, who savagely rapes her. An old seeress, Thorbjorg, accepts Katla into her own home instead, but Katla is pregnant and her tale of anguish is only beginning.

This book was awful, one of the few books I've been tempted to abandon unfinished. The narration alternates between Katla, her daughter Bibrau, and their new mistress Thorbjorg. This style does not work here, and their pretentious, rambling, internal monologues are exceedingly tiresome. I got the distinct impression that the author performed meticulous research in preparation, but then made sure she inserted every single thing she learned somewhere into the book. This makes for some awkward passages that feel more like a lecture in Norse Mythology. This is a fascinating time in world history, but it could be done so much better.

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