Review: Seven Viking Romances

Seven Viking Romances
Seven Viking Romances by Hermann Pálsson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A couple girls gave me funny looks and asked about “Romance” in the title. So I explained this is romance as in heroic sagas of mighty warriors committing supernatural deeds. (Okay, so I glossed over these same warriors impregnating every woman in their path.) Not muscular men seducing women.

Until it was. Somewhere around 200 pages in one of the heroes uses an obvious euphemism for what is between his legs to seduce a girl. And then another euphemism on another girl. I could not believe it. Scandinavian romance novel in both senses.

The stories were amusing and fast. But then I like stuff about Odysseus, Beowulf, and Gilgamesh. And the fictional Conan.

P.S. It seems like everyone is related to someone named “Grim” though. Is that the John of Scandinavia?

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Werewolves of Athens

I love the Moon. I don't know why. As celestial bodies go, it is close. We see it nearly every night. We can look at it.

I first learned the Greek goddess of the Moon was Artemis. She was beautiful and a hunter, skilled with the bow. I later learned there was an earlier Greek goddess named Selene. Her claim to fame was asking Zeus to make the man she loved have eternal sleep. Selene was the sister to Helios, god of the Sun. The Sun happens to be my second favorite celestial object. Well, for now… Probably in the next few years I will have forgotten and find the Sun is my new favorite. 🙂

My car is named for Selene. The computer vendor who provides the hardware? Sun. My first Sun desktop was named Helios.

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Search for Ithaca

A geological engineering company said Monday it has agreed to help in an archaeological project to find the island of Ithaca, homeland of Homer’s legendary hero Odysseus.

It has long been thought that the island of Ithaki in the Ionian Sea was the island Homer used as a setting for the epic poem “The Odyssey,” in which the king Odysseus makes a perilous 10-year journey home from the Trojan War.

But amateur British archaeologist Robert Bittlestone believes the Ithaca of Homer is no longer a separate island but became attached to the island of Kefallonia through rock displacement caused by earthquakes. The theory could explain inconsistencies between Ithaki and Homer’s description of Odysseus’ island.

“Because no one has ever been able to find Ithaca, people felt the Odyssey was like a Lord of the Rings story,” Bittlestone said in an interview. “This would say Ithaca was a real place — it doesn’t say Odysseus was a real person, that’s another jump.”
Engineers to Search for Homer’s Ithaca

The Odyssey is my favorite story going back to middle school. I am hopeful they find it. It will give me another place to visit whenever before I die I make it to Greece. 😉