Sunday, July 1, 2012
Book Review of #1 Hakon of Rogen's Saga by Erik christian Havgaard
Author: Erik christian Havgaard
Publisher: Sandpiper Houghton Mifflin
Part of a Series: Slave's Tale sequel
Type of book: Vikings, north, usurper, pre-ancient times? self-reliance, kid, end of 1000s?
Year it was published: 1963
For nine generations the island of Rogen passed from father to son, a bleak island whose craggy peaks embraced a world of its own. But now sullen forces of evil close in on Rogen. Kidnapping, vengeance, treachery, and bloodshed swirl within a suspenseful tale that perfectly captures the mood of a harsh but heroic people who lived at the end of the Viking period.
While with the main character, Hakon, there is maturity that's evident, the other characters seemed to play stock characters and there was barely any growth when it came to them.
Evil will not prosper
I personally felt that the pacing was uneven and although it wasn't this way, that there was passage of time, it did feel like one long day so to speak. For me personally, there was something dis-satisfactory with the novel that I can't quite put my finger on it. This is in first person narrative from Hakon's point of view.
April 13, 1923 in Denmark
About this author
Erik Haugaard was born in Denmark and has traveled extensively in the United States, Italy, Spain, and Japan. Called "a writer gifted in the art of the storyteller" by the BOSTON GLOBE, he is internationally known for his accomplishments as a playwright, poet, and translator.
Haugaard has written a number of acclaimed works for young adults that transport readers back to a time and place in history that placed upon children burdens nearly unimaginable to the contemporary North American adolescent. Religious strife, World War II, and feudal Japan are just some of the settings Havgaard has explored in his books, which usually feature a child whose hardships are made all the worse due to the loss of parents or other guardians.
I read this book a long time ago, but I guess for the life of me I could barely recall what it was about, besides the fact it was a Viking tale. Re-reading it, although the book had potential and strong yet beautiful language, I felt once more that this will not be something I'll remember at the end of the day. I did enjoy learning little things such as the fact they used poetry for important things, or that they were portrayed intelligently instead of the stereotypically savage people. I do wish that there was more of their culture to learn in the novel, but alas it didn't happen.
3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)