Eaters of the Dead

September 30, 2008
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Eaters of the Dead follows the journey of a Muslim merchant who travels to the Barbaric Norse lands in Scandinavia. This merchant's name was Ibn Fadlan and he was ordered by the King of Bagdad to travel north and spread Islam. When Ibn Fadlan arrived in the Northland, he was at first disgusted at how the Viking men and women lived. He was appalled by the lifestyle and how they did not keep themselves clean and indulged themselves in women and drink. But as Fadlan lived among these men, he soon adapted their customs as his own and learned to live like the Viking men. After many weeks of living with the North men, twelve men and Fadlan were chosen to journey to a northern kingdom and defend it against the dreaded Wendol, in which no one would explain what or who they were to Fadlan. Follow Ibn Fadlan in his fascinating journey throughout Scandinavia defending a Northern Kingdom and trying to save his friends and himself.
The main character of Eaters of the Dead is Ibn Fadlan, a Muslim merchant from Bagdad. This book is based on his journey through Scandinavia, which he wrote down in a journal or journey log. Fadlan is a young man, about 30, with dark hair and no beard. His dark skin is mentioned many times in the book because compared to the white, almost pasty, people of the North, Ibn stuck out like a sore thumb. Ibn also feels out of place in a culture where people do everything so differently. He is not a good fighter with a sword or any weapon for that matter, unlike the Vikings who were experts in all areas of hand to hand combat. Ibn was also a lover of peace; he was not a man of war, and he did not like to cause or be involved in conflict. Ibn is clean and sober, while the Viking men are dirty and drunk most of the time. Ibn is an enjoyable character; the readers get to watch him mature as a man and see how he overcomes his fears, of which he has many.
I would recommend Eaters of the Dead because it is full of adventure and action. It is not full of fluffy details that take a long time and a lot of determination to get through. The author does such a great job writing in a way that the reader can paint an accurate picture of the battles and journeys. It's almost like watching a movie. This book also gives the reader a look into Viking lifestyle which I found very interesting as I read the book. This story, by the way, is not over. So if you like novels full of medieval battle and action, I recommend Eaters of the Dead.

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