Judson Roberts brings an extensive, carefully cultivated knowledge of ninth-century Viking history to the Strongbow Saga. He also draws on a distinguished career in law enforcement, as a state and federal criminal investigator, a prosecutor specializing in complex conspiracy cases, and the planner and director of several major undercover operations. He now lives on a small farm near Eugene, Oregon, where he is currently working on the next novel in the Strongbow Saga series.
The Strongbow Saga is an epic tale of treachery, revenge, and courage that spans the 9th century world of the Vikings. Told across five novels—four of which have been published to date—the Saga tells the story of Halfdan Hroriksson, born a slave in the household of his father, the Danish chieftain Hrorik Strong-Axe. When his mother, an Irish noblewoman captured and enslaved years earlier, makes a deadly bargain with Hrorik on his deathbed, Halfdan is freed, acknowledged by Hrorik as his son, and suddenly finds himself not just a free man, but a member of a powerful noble family, accepted as a brother by Harald and Sigrid, Hrorik’s children and heirs.
Harald, a noted swordsman, undertakes to train Halfdan in the skills of a warrior. But Halfdan’s new life is soon upended. Toke, Hrorik’s brutal foster son whom he’d banished years earlier, returns to Denmark seeking a share of Hrorik’s inheritance, and in a treacherous attack slays Harald and many of his followers. Halfdan flees for his life, but vows to win allies and someday return to avenge the murder of his brother.
Halfdan’s fictional story is interwoven with the lives of actual historical figures, including the famous Viking leaders Ragnar Logbrod, his sons Bjorn Ironsides and Ivar the Boneless, and the cunning chieftain Hastein. His pursuit of vengeance carries him across the Viking world, including south from Denmark into Frankia, where he participates in the capture of Paris in the year 845 by a Danish army; east across the Baltic, where he meets Rurik, the Swedish Viking who will later become the first king of Russia; and west to Ireland, where he finally brings Toke to bay.
The Strongbow Saga is the product of almost 20 years of extensive research, and portrays the time period, events, and the Vikings’ culture with meticulous accuracy. Many readers will likely find themselves surprised to discover that the Vikings were far from the crude, violent barbarians they are frequently depicted as. Rather, their culture bore striking similarities to that of the Mycenaean Greeks whom Homer wrote of. Since the release by HarperCollins in 2006 of Viking Warrior, book one of the Strongbow Saga, the series’ mix of vivid characters, thrilling action, and historical detail has attracted readers of all ages.