“[Macbain’s] writing is vivid and compelling, and his understanding of Norse and Icelandic culture and history is woven deftly throughout the tale. The cast of characters is well-fleshed out and Odd makes for a wonderful protagonist. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and I eagerly await its sequel. Highly recommended.” – from the Historical Novels Review
“Meticulous research and poetic writing make Odin’s Child a multilayered masterpiece in the genre of historical fiction…Written with passion, peopled with superbly realized characters, I was gripped from the very first page of this historical novel.”
— Carol McGrath, author of The Handfasted Wife and The Swan-Daughter
From the Roman ruins to scaling the terrain of Scandinavia, acclaimed author Bruce Macbain is at it again with Odin’s Child: Book One of Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga. The first of three books in a series, Odin’s Child chronicles the trying times of its protagonist, Odd Tangle-Hair, an idealistic, truth-seeking man on a quest to find one’s own concept of religion. A resolute pagan, Odd Tangle-Hair wrangles with the onslaught of Christianity in his homeland and is forced to decide how to honor his convictions in a world moving in a direction that is spiritually opposite to his own beliefs.
“The principle theme, and what interests me most about this period, is the conflict of religion,” says Macbain. “I have a fondness for the pre-Christian religions and the ‘underdog role’ they play in the theatre of religious intolerance for centuries to come.”
In Odin’s Child, Odd Tangle-Hair—the only survivor of his slaughtered family—steals a ship, rounds up a rag-tag crew, and embarks on the Viking life. He swears one day to return, rich and powerful enough to take vengeance on his enemies. The son of Black Thorvald, once the chieftain in Iceland who, after denouncing Christianity, shut himself up in his hall and shunned the world, Odd fears the worm of cowardice that unmanned his father has infected him too. He has inherited from Thorvald a shock of black hair, a gift for poetry, and an allegiance to Odin, god of battles and magic. But Odd is heir to darker traits as well—a hint of madness and a wild temper—which will sometimes cost him dearly.
Through entertaining, informative prose, Odin’s Child explores:
- The medieval history of Iceland
- The perils and division of religious conflict
- The path of paganism and how it permeates current religion
- The adventures of a pragmatic, idealistic young man
About the author:
From boyhood, Bruce Macbain spent his days reading history and historical fiction. The Greeks and Romans have held a special fascination for him and this eventually led to earning a master’s degree in Classical Studies and a doctorate in Ancient History. Along the way, he also taught English as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Borneo. Later, he taught courses in Greek and Roman civilization at Vanderbilt University and Boston University, and published a few dense scholarly monographs.
Since retiring, Macbain has turned to writing fiction and has published two historical mysteries set in ancient Rome, Roman Games, and its sequel, The Bull Slayer. More recently, he has shifted his attention to his other favorite folk, the Vikings. Odin’s Child is the first novel of a trilogy, Odd Tangle-Hair’s Saga, which follows our hero—a wanderer, poet and warrior—from his tiny Iceland farm to the Great Palace in Constantinople.