Friday 13 February 2015

Book Review: Heimskringla by Snorri Sturluson

Title: Heimskringla
Author: Snorri Sturluson
Publisher: Dover

Publication Date: 1990 (1230)
Pages: 770
Format: Paperback
Genre: History
Source: Xmas Gift
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Great classic by Icelandic poet/chieftain chronicles the reigns of 16 high kings descended from the warrior-wizard god Odin. Major section on 15-year reign of Olav II Haraldson, patron saint of Norway. Based on earlier histories, oral traditions, plus new material by author, all presented with intelligence, warmth and objectivity. Over 130 illustrations and 5 maps. (Goodreads Synopsis)

I got a copy of this book as I have a huge interest in the Viking era. And to that end, this is a great work to add to my library. On reflection, I maybe should have dipped into it in between other books, rather than read through it in one go. After a few chapters, it all started to become a little bit familiar and stodgy - one king harried here and there, married, and then died; then the next king harried here and there, married, and then died. I do not think this is a book for general readership per se - those looking for exciting Viking tales should try the Icelandic sagas instead - but for the history buff, this is a good work to add to one's collection.


  1. Aah I love seeing other people read Old Norse sagas because I love them myself and currently have to read them for university! I do have the same thing where reading them all at once makes them become very similar! Have you read Laxdaela Saga? It's very fun!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  2. Thanks for the rec, Juli. I've not read that one yet, so I'll definitely check it out. I'm reading a review request one at present, but next I'll be back to more Icelandic sagas!