Lars Walker’s new novel

Lars Walker, a frequent commenter on this blog, is a novelist of note. He is also a Christian and a Lutheran. His faith comes out loud and clear in his fiction, but, unlike many “Christian novelists,” he is not preachy or sappy or didactic. With Lars, the Christian themes don’t substitute for a good story; rather, they contribute to the good story.

Lars specializes in historical fantasy. He is especially interested in Vikings, writing about the ancient Norse seafarers and warriors at the time when they were first getting converted to Christianity (around the year 1000). In addition to all kinds of swordplay, battles, and adventures, his characters are involved in spiritual warfare, as the old heathen magic, lore, and demons array themselves against the followers of Christ.

Lars has a new book out, West Oversea, that I enjoyed greatly. Like his earlier Viking novels, Erling’s Word and Year of the Warrior, it features the characters of the warlord Erling, a historical figure, whose dedication to doing what is right sometimes gets him into trouble, and Father Aillil, an Irish priest with a vivid personality (who reminds me somewhat of Martin Luther in his self-deprecating but life-affirming faith). This time, they journey to Iceland, then Greenland, then Vinland, a.k.a. America. They connect with the discoverer of that rich but dangerous land, Leif Erikson. (I did not realize that he was a Christian. His father, Erik the Red, was not.) At one point, Father Aillil has a vision of the future that perfectly captures–and refutes–the particular kinds of Godlessness of both modernism and postmodernism and suggests what might come next. The book is full of fascinating lore, thought-provoking ideas, memorable characters, exciting action, and just good story-telling.

I could hardly put the thing down. You can buy it here for less than ten bucks.

Lars Walker's new novel

About Gene Veith

I am a retired English professor and college administrator. I have written over 20 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Snafu

    Sounds good. Another exciting and humorous book of the same era is .

  • Snafu

    Sounds good. Another exciting and humorous book of the same era is .

  • Snafu

    Hmm.. seems that I wasn’t able to use the hyperlink tag. Well, I meant “The Long Ships”.

  • Snafu

    Hmm.. seems that I wasn’t able to use the hyperlink tag. Well, I meant “The Long Ships”.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Yes, THE LONG SHIPS is a very good book. I believe, alas, that it’s not in print in English translation anymore, but hey, neither is THE YEAR OF THE WARRIOR (by the way, if you buy TYOTW, you don’t need to get ERLING’S WORD. TYOTW is a double volume, incorporating EW in its entirety).

    Thanks for the plug, Dr. Veith.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Yes, THE LONG SHIPS is a very good book. I believe, alas, that it’s not in print in English translation anymore, but hey, neither is THE YEAR OF THE WARRIOR (by the way, if you buy TYOTW, you don’t need to get ERLING’S WORD. TYOTW is a double volume, incorporating EW in its entirety).

    Thanks for the plug, Dr. Veith.

  • Joe

    Lars:

    Are these three (Erling’s Word, TYOTW and West Oversea) a series. In otherwords, should I read them in that order?

  • Joe

    Lars:

    Are these three (Erling’s Word, TYOTW and West Oversea) a series. In otherwords, should I read them in that order?

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    They are a series. However, West Oversea stands alone, and you don’t need to have read TYOTW to enjoy it.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    They are a series. However, West Oversea stands alone, and you don’t need to have read TYOTW to enjoy it.

  • womanofthehouse

    Oh, thank you, thank you for mentioning these! My homeschooled daughter and I will be studying the Vikings next year at her request, and these look perfect! I was hoping to find some good historical fiction about the Vikings other than Rolf and the Viking Bow (which is good, but I wanted more). Lars, I will be purchasing these books. Thank you!

  • womanofthehouse

    Oh, thank you, thank you for mentioning these! My homeschooled daughter and I will be studying the Vikings next year at her request, and these look perfect! I was hoping to find some good historical fiction about the Vikings other than Rolf and the Viking Bow (which is good, but I wanted more). Lars, I will be purchasing these books. Thank you!

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Thank you Womanofthehouse. One caution–it all depends on the age of your daughter, whether you’ll want her to read THE YEAR OF THE WARRIOR or not. WEST OVERSEA ought to be OK, I think. But TYOTW involves some fairly adult themes.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Thank you Womanofthehouse. One caution–it all depends on the age of your daughter, whether you’ll want her to read THE YEAR OF THE WARRIOR or not. WEST OVERSEA ought to be OK, I think. But TYOTW involves some fairly adult themes.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    You also might want to check an author named Judson Roberts, who has a series of 3 novels (so far) about a Viking, aimed at a young adult audience.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    You also might want to check an author named Judson Roberts, who has a series of 3 novels (so far) about a Viking, aimed at a young adult audience.

  • Ryan Fehrmann

    Lar’s – another good job, couldn’t put it down!

    One critique, and only very slight – the amount of “future social commentary” was about just right in The Year of the Warrior, West Oversea had a bit more – be careful you don’t tip the balance. Too much and the book becomes preachy.

    Anything more novels in the pipeline?

  • Ryan Fehrmann

    Lar’s – another good job, couldn’t put it down!

    One critique, and only very slight – the amount of “future social commentary” was about just right in The Year of the Warrior, West Oversea had a bit more – be careful you don’t tip the balance. Too much and the book becomes preachy.

    Anything more novels in the pipeline?

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Ryan, you’re not the first to make that critique, and you may be sure it’s been noted.

    I have 3 more unpublished novels “in the can,” one of which is another Erling story. They may come to publication, provided EVERYBODY BUYS THIS ONE!!!!!

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Ryan, you’re not the first to make that critique, and you may be sure it’s been noted.

    I have 3 more unpublished novels “in the can,” one of which is another Erling story. They may come to publication, provided EVERYBODY BUYS THIS ONE!!!!!

  • Ryan Fehrmann

    Sigh, I need my coffee yet. The corrections are a follows:

    Lars for Lar’s
    Anymore for Anything more

  • Ryan Fehrmann

    Sigh, I need my coffee yet. The corrections are a follows:

    Lars for Lar’s
    Anymore for Anything more

  • Ryan Fehrmann

    as follows!

  • Ryan Fehrmann

    as follows!

  • Leif

    I’m new here so forgive my ignorance but…

    You had me at “norse”!

    Sigh. I sense another conversation about book buying and spending with my wife coming on.

  • Leif

    I’m new here so forgive my ignorance but…

    You had me at “norse”!

    Sigh. I sense another conversation about book buying and spending with my wife coming on.

  • womanofthehouse

    Ah, thank you for the heads up, Lars. I’ll give them a pre-read. And thank you for the tip about Judson Roberts.

  • womanofthehouse

    Ah, thank you for the heads up, Lars. I’ll give them a pre-read. And thank you for the tip about Judson Roberts.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Leif, you’re the consumer of my dreams.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Leif, you’re the consumer of my dreams.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    As I said, I think “West Oversea” is actually a better introduction to the Erling books–sorry, I had forgotten that “Warrior” contained both of the others, so that there are actually only two–than reading them in order. “West Oversea,” because of the nature of the story moves very rapidly (just as the characters are moving from one place to another), making it particularly enjoyable to read. The other seems somewhat heavier, demanding more attention. I think “West Oversea” will be fine for your daughter, Womanofthehouse.

    I disagree, Lars, with Ryan. I loved the commentary about our own time. I wanted more! Then again, I’m a huge fan of “Wolf Time.” (Any more of those characters in the pipeline?) Actually, though, I think “West Oversea” is my new favorite of your novels.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    As I said, I think “West Oversea” is actually a better introduction to the Erling books–sorry, I had forgotten that “Warrior” contained both of the others, so that there are actually only two–than reading them in order. “West Oversea,” because of the nature of the story moves very rapidly (just as the characters are moving from one place to another), making it particularly enjoyable to read. The other seems somewhat heavier, demanding more attention. I think “West Oversea” will be fine for your daughter, Womanofthehouse.

    I disagree, Lars, with Ryan. I loved the commentary about our own time. I wanted more! Then again, I’m a huge fan of “Wolf Time.” (Any more of those characters in the pipeline?) Actually, though, I think “West Oversea” is my new favorite of your novels.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Thanks, that’s very gratifying to read.

    I have written a novel called DEATH’S DOORS, which takes place in Epsom, and in which some of the WOLF TIME characters show up. It’s not strictly a sequel, but has continuity, if that makes any sense.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Thanks, that’s very gratifying to read.

    I have written a novel called DEATH’S DOORS, which takes place in Epsom, and in which some of the WOLF TIME characters show up. It’s not strictly a sequel, but has continuity, if that makes any sense.

  • http://www.hempelstudios.blogspot.com Sarah in Exile

    Leif- you crack me up! He had me at “norse” as well. hehe

    I love the Kristin Lavransdatter series, which seems to be on a similar theme as this book. I look forward to reading it!

    Lars- are you a big fan of Sigrid Undset?

  • http://www.hempelstudios.blogspot.com Sarah in Exile

    Leif- you crack me up! He had me at “norse” as well. hehe

    I love the Kristin Lavransdatter series, which seems to be on a similar theme as this book. I look forward to reading it!

    Lars- are you a big fan of Sigrid Undset?

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Sarah, I’m a huge fan of Sigrid Undset. And I have the advantage (he said, make a half-hearted attempt to hide his smugness) of being able to read her in the original Norwegian.

    Have you read THE MASTER OF HESTVIKEN tetralogy? Undset actually liked it better than KL, and I tend to agree.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Sarah, I’m a huge fan of Sigrid Undset. And I have the advantage (he said, make a half-hearted attempt to hide his smugness) of being able to read her in the original Norwegian.

    Have you read THE MASTER OF HESTVIKEN tetralogy? Undset actually liked it better than KL, and I tend to agree.

  • http://www.christiansciencefiction.blogspot.com Brandon Barr

    After reading The Year of the Warrior, Lars Walker has me in absolute awe. I will now proceed to buy everything he publishes.
    If only everyone knew of him…I’m doing my best in my sphere of influence!

  • http://www.christiansciencefiction.blogspot.com Brandon Barr

    After reading The Year of the Warrior, Lars Walker has me in absolute awe. I will now proceed to buy everything he publishes.
    If only everyone knew of him…I’m doing my best in my sphere of influence!