The second book in the Axe of Iron series picks up where the first book, Axe of Iron: The Settlers, left us. It is the late summer of 1008, and while the settlement at Halfdansfjord is flourishing, the uncounted numbers of indigenous peoples--the Naskapi, Anishinabeg, and Haudenosaunee Indians--have violently resisted the arrival of these pale-skinned invaders.
An ill-fated hunting trip, a blending of cultures, friendship with a tribe of Naskapi, the capture and eventual acceptance of a young boy of the Northmen by his Haudenosaunee captors, and an event that seems destined by the gods, leave the Northmen's fate hanging in the balance.
Can their developing relationship with the native tribes pave the way for the Northmen to survive in Vinland?
As with Axe of Iron: The Settlers--which we reviewed here--Hunsinger uses his wealth of knowledge and years of study to bring the Northmen and their adventures to life. Halfdan Ingolfsson and his second in command, Gudbjartur Einarsson, continue to lead the settlers in Halfdansfjord to what they hope is a prosperous life in Vinland.
Readers, who will recognize many of the names and characters from the first novel, are treated to watching these people develop and change as they meet the challenges of their lives in this new place; a place that is filled with hope and danger.
In Confrontation, we begin to see the blending of cultures as Thora of the Northmen marries Deskaheh the Haudenosaunee, who had once been captured by the Northmen, but who is now considered a member of their tribe. While Halfdan and Gudbjartur hope commitments such as these will allow the indiginous tribes and Northmen to better understand each other, they cannot let their guard down for a single moment. Hunsinger captures well, the dangerous situation in which the Northmen find themselves on a daily basis.
The Foreword provides important information for the reader, in addition to sharing a brief synopsis of what happened in Axe of Iron: The Settlers. Also included is a Glossary of Norse and Native Terminology to define terms that readers might find unfamiliar.
I found that as soon as I finished Confrontation, I was eager to continue reading the story of the Northmen. Luckily, Hunsinger also includes a short excerpt of the next Axe of Iron novel, Assimilation, which appears to be just as exciting as the previous two installments.
Readers of historical fiction are sure to be drawn in by this sweeping epic of the Northmen.
Title: Axe of Iron: Confrontation Author: J.A. Hunsinger Publisher: Vinland Publishing ISBN-10: 0980160154 ISBN-13: 978-0980160154 SRP: $16.95
Note: This blogger was paid to copy edit this manuscript. No payment was received to provide a review of the book.