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Seeking a long-lost & probably far more mediocre than I remember it story
June 20, 2010 4:34 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a book I read a long time ago. It was set in some hilly country, quite cold, somewhere like Iceland. A boy working on his farm developed some sort of need for a quest (but I have no idea what this actually was). He had a 'typically' Viking name, and there was a girl involved, physical but seeming quite ethereal. Possibly they were somehow married (though they were—I don't know, but less than twelve, so when I say 'married' I mean one of those close friendships characters in children's books have with destined soulmates). Things I seem to remember but may be mixing up with other books: a sword, longships arriving (the settlers were Viking too). There were gods around, because Loki was quite prominently featured in the story while the boy was questing alone. I think this quest had a fairly pathetic basis, and that's one of the things that made the story interesting.

I must have read this about 15 years ago. I got the book from a library and it was quite old and battered then, hardcover with I think a mostly pale dustjacket.

Sorry there's hardly anything to go on here...

I did ask on Booksleuth on Abebooks once. I think the thread must have been deleted because I can't find it now (it was years ago). They didn't come up with anything.
posted by westerly to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Eye of Odin? There's a boy named Erik (the Red) who moves with his family. But it was published in 2003... so maybe too recent.

Or maybe something by Jesse Byock?
posted by franc.o.bolos at 4:49 AM on June 20, 2010


Just throwing this out there: Would it be Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset?
posted by MelanieL at 6:13 AM on June 20, 2010


It sounds like you could be crossing together two books by Terry Jones - Nicobobinus (pale cover, girl, poor basis for quest) and The Saga of Erik the Viking (all the Viking bits).
posted by Coobeastie at 7:11 AM on June 20, 2010


I'm probably wrong, but your description reminds me of Belgariad.
posted by gakiko at 8:43 AM on June 20, 2010


It's none of these...

The boy doesn't have much of a family. It's definitely a children's book: I was probably 6 or 8 when I read it.
posted by westerly at 9:27 AM on June 20, 2010


Leif's Saga: A Viking Tale by Jonathan Hunt? Published about 14 years ago, hardcover, real girl, story about a boy...
posted by franc.o.bolos at 12:03 PM on June 20, 2010


was it a book by itself or a story in a collection?
posted by lakersfan1222 at 12:05 PM on June 20, 2010


Eight Days of Luke?
posted by derforsher at 12:16 PM on June 20, 2010


It was published by itself. Probably between 150 and 300 pages. The girl was real, just fey.

Am I missing out other information I might be able to give?
posted by westerly at 2:24 PM on June 20, 2010


It's not about Vikings, and it is part of a series, but any chance you're thinking of The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander? It's a fairly dark children's adventure book based on mythology (not Viking, but Welsh Gaelic) that has a farm boy adventurer and a fairy-like but human female lead.
posted by oinopaponton at 4:42 PM on June 20, 2010


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