Monday, February 07, 2005

A Viking we shall go!!

Just finished reading Sandra Hill's A Very Virile Viking. This was the story of the last Erickson Brother, Magnus. The eldest of the bunch, he has the problem of being overly fertile. With having bred 13 children (2 died in infancy) he has a reputation of being overly virile. His friends tease him mercilessly and after another child gets dumped on his lap, he decides to take his children and find a better land.
He leaves Vestfold with 9 of his offspring (his eldest daughter has just been wed and his eldest son is left to care for his father's lands). They head out on his longboat and get caught up in a mysterious fog that dumps them on a Viking movie set in Hollywood. It is there that he meets his destiny in the form of Angela Abruzzi.
Angela is the granddaughter of Italian immigrants that have a vineyard in Sonoma California. The vineyard no longer produces wine but they still harvest grapes that get sold to other vineyards. They are barely making ends and Angela has taken a part time job in the city as a real estate salesperson. She is trying to contract with the movie studio so that they will use the vineyard as the set for an upcoming movie, thus giving the vineyard an influx of cash flow. The director agrees to the location IF she takes Magnus and his children to the vineyard while he tries to convince Magnus to be the star of his Viking movie.
Magnus has taken a vow of celibacy because he doesn’t want any more children but after meeting Angela he questions his strength to follow through.

Hill returns to the great writing that we saw in The Last Viking. The children add a new element to the fold but don't distract from the main romance. I loved to see how Magnus adapts, not only to his new environment but also to the new challenges he faces as a father of children in the 21st century. During the other books, when I heard about Magnus I could not imagine him as a hero to his own story, but Hill did an exceptional job in making him appealing. She made him a tender father and that tugs at most woman's heartstrings. I loved one line in particular, when he tells Angela that if she is willing to become a mother to his 9 children, he could certainly become father to their one. This is when Angela tells him that she wants children of her own. The story was and excellent read!

Going to give Judith French a try by reading The Barbarian... Will let you know how that goes.


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