100 books like The Vinland Sagas

By Unknown, Keneva Kunz (translator),

Here are 100 books that The Vinland Sagas fans have personally recommended if you like The Vinland Sagas. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Northmen's Fury: A History of the Viking World

Max Adams Author Of Aelfred's Britain: War and Peace in the Viking Age

From my list on the viking period.

Why am I passionate about this?

I study and write about the Early Medieval period, and in a series of books about its most important characters, its archaeology and landscapes, I've tried to share my lifelong passion for this most obscure and tantalizing period of our history – what we still call the Dark Ages. From the two most shadowy centuries after Rome's fall (The First Kingdom) to Northumbrian King Oswald (The King in the North), who brought Christianity into pagan Anglo-Saxon England, and a walking, riding, sailing tour of Britain's Dark Age lands and seas (In the Land of Giants), I see a continuity of rich cultures, vibrant politics and regional characters that help us to understand how and why we are like we are.

Max's book list on the viking period

Max Adams Why did Max love this book?

Every subject needs a really sound, comprehensive introduction – and Parker's book is just that: a big, chunky history of the Vikings in all their guises, as traders, raiders, explorers, and entrepreneurs.  It's very well illustrated with photos and maps, lucidly written, and with a passion for the subject that is infectious. If you're looking for just one book to see you through the Vikings, make it this one.

By Philip Parker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Northmen's Fury as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Northmen's Fury tells the Viking story, from the first pinprick raids of the eighth century to the great armies that left their Scandinavian homelands to conquer larger parts of France, Britain and Ireland. It recounts the epic voyages that took them across the Atlantic to the icy fjords of Greenland and to North America over four centuries before Columbus and east to the great rivers of Russia and the riches of the Byzantine empire.

One summer's day in 793, death arrived from the sea. The raiders who sacked the island monastery of Lindisfarne were the first Vikings, sea-borne attackers…


Book cover of Vikings of the Irish Sea

Max Adams Author Of Aelfred's Britain: War and Peace in the Viking Age

From my list on the viking period.

Why am I passionate about this?

I study and write about the Early Medieval period, and in a series of books about its most important characters, its archaeology and landscapes, I've tried to share my lifelong passion for this most obscure and tantalizing period of our history – what we still call the Dark Ages. From the two most shadowy centuries after Rome's fall (The First Kingdom) to Northumbrian King Oswald (The King in the North), who brought Christianity into pagan Anglo-Saxon England, and a walking, riding, sailing tour of Britain's Dark Age lands and seas (In the Land of Giants), I see a continuity of rich cultures, vibrant politics and regional characters that help us to understand how and why we are like we are.

Max's book list on the viking period

Max Adams Why did Max love this book?

This may not look, at first sight, like a book for the general reader. But in my research into the period I have found no more useful, better written, or more thought-provoking work. David Griffiths is, like me, an archaeologist; and he knows his material. How the Vikings explored, conquered, and settled the lands in and around the Irish Sea is a story of marvellous sculpture and enigmatic burial mound; of silver, towns and landscape. A very fine book.

By David Griffiths,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vikings of the Irish Sea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Vikings began raiding islands and monasteries on the Atlantic fringes of Europe in the 790s. The Irish Sea rapidly became one of their most productive hunting-grounds. Attacks, battles and destruction were accompanied by trade - in slaves, silver and fine objects. Vikings crossed and re-crossed the Irish Sea in search of land, wealth and power. Raids were followed by settlement, firstly in fortified camps, and later in towns, market enclaves and rural estates. Vikings came into contact with existing populations in Ireland, Britain and the Isle of Man. Viking paganism, demonstrated by spectacular burials, was gradually eclipsed by Christianity. By…


Book cover of The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman

Max Adams Author Of Aelfred's Britain: War and Peace in the Viking Age

From my list on the viking period.

Why am I passionate about this?

I study and write about the Early Medieval period, and in a series of books about its most important characters, its archaeology and landscapes, I've tried to share my lifelong passion for this most obscure and tantalizing period of our history – what we still call the Dark Ages. From the two most shadowy centuries after Rome's fall (The First Kingdom) to Northumbrian King Oswald (The King in the North), who brought Christianity into pagan Anglo-Saxon England, and a walking, riding, sailing tour of Britain's Dark Age lands and seas (In the Land of Giants), I see a continuity of rich cultures, vibrant politics and regional characters that help us to understand how and why we are like we are.

Max's book list on the viking period

Max Adams Why did Max love this book?

Nancy Brown's search for one of the most intriguing characters of the sagas, Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir, is both a detective story and an evocation; a travelogue and history. It brings the adventuring spirit of the age to life; and in exploring this most fascinating and intrepid woman – the first European to give birth on American soil – it warns us not to forget half of the Viking population.

By Nancy Marie Brown,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Far Traveler as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Five hundred years before Columbus, a Viking woman named Gudrid sailed off the edge of the known world. She landed in the New World and lived there for three years, giving birth to a baby before sailing home. Or so the Icelandic sagas say. Even after archaeologists found a Viking longhouse in Newfoundland, no one believed that the details of Gudrid's story were true. Then, in 2001, a team of scientists discovered what may have been this pioneering woman's last house, buried under a hay field in Iceland, just where the sagas suggested it could be. Joining scientists experimenting with…


Book cover of The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings

Ian Stuart Sharpe Author Of Old Norse for Modern Times

From my list on researching Vikings.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ian Stuart Sharpe likes to imagine he is descended from Guðrum, King of the East Angles, although DNA tests and a deep disdain for camping suggest otherwise. He is the author of two novels set in his alternate Vikingverse, the All Father Paradox and Loki’s Wager. He once won a prize at school for Outstanding Progress and chose a dictionary as his reward, secretly wishing it had been an Old Norse phrasebook. It took him thirty years, but he has finally realised his dream.

Ian's book list on researching Vikings

Ian Stuart Sharpe Why did Ian love this book?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what value is an illustrated, annotated map complete with key dates and a timeline?! Most books carry a few maps that help orientate you to the text, but this atlas is a treasure trove. It provides a visual context that is hugely helpful in understanding how the world of the Vikings evolved.

By John Haywood,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Viking marauders in their longships burst through the defences of ninth-century Europe, striking terror into the hearts of peasants and rulers alike for two centuries. But the Vikings were more than just marine warriors and this atlas shows their development as traders and craftsmen, explorers, settlers and mercenaries. With over sixty full colour maps, it follows the tracks of the Viking merchants who travelled deep into Russia, of Viking mercenaries who served in the emperor's bodyguard at Constantinople, and Viking mariners who sailed beyond the edge of the known world to North America.


Book cover of The World in the Viking Age

Else Roesdahl Author Of The Vikings

From my list on the day-to-day life of Vikings.

Why am I passionate about this?

Else Roesdahl has a life-long passion for Vikings. She is emerita professor of Medieval Archaeology at Aarhus University, Denmark, and has travelled all over the Viking world and taken part in many excavations. She has also organized major international Viking Exhibitions and published academic as well as popular books, for which she has been awarded several prizes.

Else's book list on the day-to-day life of Vikings

Else Roesdahl Why did Else love this book?

This well-written and well-illustrated book tells the story of Vikings, their ships, travels, and trade in the context of the global history of the ancient World – reaching from the Atlantic to China and from North Norway to Africa. The Vikings were far from the only great seafarers, warriors, and tradesmen of their time. They were part of far-flung networks, which also traded ideas. Contemporary travel accounts and recent archaeological investigations and finds are important components of this attractive book, written by international specialists.

By Søren M. Sindbæk (editor), Athena Trakadas (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The World in the Viking Age as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Viking Age was ignited by the art of building seaworthy sailing ships and the skills to sail them on the open sea. The growth in seafaring, trade, piracy, and exploration that began to gather momentum during the 8th century CE was not limited to Europe's northern seas, however. Ships, laden with cargo and with seafarers who met foreign cultures, created unexpected connections between people from the Arctic Circle to the oceans south of the equator.

Travel accounts have handed down glimpses of these voyages to the present day. However, it is archaeological discoveries in particular which uncover the story…


Book cover of Chronicles of the Vikings

Else Roesdahl Author Of The Vikings

From my list on the day-to-day life of Vikings.

Why am I passionate about this?

Else Roesdahl has a life-long passion for Vikings. She is emerita professor of Medieval Archaeology at Aarhus University, Denmark, and has travelled all over the Viking world and taken part in many excavations. She has also organized major international Viking Exhibitions and published academic as well as popular books, for which she has been awarded several prizes.

Else's book list on the day-to-day life of Vikings

Else Roesdahl Why did Else love this book?

There is no better way to get to know the Vikings than by their own sayings and other contemporary descriptions and stories. This book is a carefully chosen and lively selection of extracts of such sources, from their own rune-stone inscriptions, intriguing poetry and historic writings to English, German and Russian accounts – all set in their context and divided into topics such as ‘All sorts of conditions for men’, ‘Myth, Religion and Superstition’, ‘The Heroic life’ – and ‘The unheroic life’.

By R.I. Page,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chronicles of the Vikings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Vikings are not known for their literate legacy. Little of what they once inscribed in runes on wood, bone, and stone has survived. However these runic inscriptions are a valuable primary source of information on the Viking Age. They alow us to see the Vikings from their own point of view, unlike the records of prejudiced observers who saw the Vikings only as savage invaders. Chronicles of the Vikings attempts to show the Vikings through their own writings: runic inscriptions left behind, poems of their official skalds, literary works that entertained them, the few prose historical accounts that derive…


Book cover of Viking Art

Else Roesdahl Author Of The Vikings

From my list on the day-to-day life of Vikings.

Why am I passionate about this?

Else Roesdahl has a life-long passion for Vikings. She is emerita professor of Medieval Archaeology at Aarhus University, Denmark, and has travelled all over the Viking world and taken part in many excavations. She has also organized major international Viking Exhibitions and published academic as well as popular books, for which she has been awarded several prizes.

Else's book list on the day-to-day life of Vikings

Else Roesdahl Why did Else love this book?

The Vikings’ lively, intriguing, and carefully executed art is one of their great achievements. This handsome and lavishly illustrated book provides a survey of the development and meanings of Viking art, as well as examples of how the art was used – on ships, buildings, memorials, jewelry, textiles, weapons, and much else. It was an art based on animals in various guises, but plant ornament gradually also came into use, and in recent years many more pictures of human (and semi-human) beings have come to light.

By James Graham-Campbell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Viking Art as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book distils a lifetime's study of Viking art. Written by a leading authority, it introduces all the intricate and beautiful art styles of the Viking age. It ranges in time from the first major Viking expeditions overseas around AD 800 to the general establishment of Christianity in Scandinavia some 300 years later. The opening chapter introduces the geographical and historical background to Viking culture; thematic chapters then describe and illustrate the six main Viking art styles, showing how they emerged from and interacted with one another. Delicate metalwork, elaborate wood-carvings and the famous Gotland picture-stones are all discussed. Viking…


Book cover of Viking Poetry of Love and War

Else Roesdahl Author Of The Vikings

From my list on the day-to-day life of Vikings.

Why am I passionate about this?

Else Roesdahl has a life-long passion for Vikings. She is emerita professor of Medieval Archaeology at Aarhus University, Denmark, and has travelled all over the Viking world and taken part in many excavations. She has also organized major international Viking Exhibitions and published academic as well as popular books, for which she has been awarded several prizes.

Else's book list on the day-to-day life of Vikings

Else Roesdahl Why did Else love this book?

In this small and colourful volume the reader is introduced to a wide range of Viking ‘life’ through poetry – from highly formal and (one may say) cruel poems composed in honour of Viking chieftains and kings on honour, battle, blood, and death, to others on age discrepancies, very attractive men or eternal reputation.

By Judith Jesch,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Viking Poetry of Love and War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"They are most famous for being violent invaders of foreign shores but a new book by a University of Nottingham Viking expert shows they were also poetry lovers with a wicked sense of humour! ‘Viking Poetry of Love and War’ by Professor Judith Jesch, of the University’s Centre for the Study of the Viking Age, is the first collection in English with extracts from the full range of Viking poetry published in the UK. The colourful volume published today by the British Museum, is an accessible introduction to the broad poetry ranges of the Vikings, from the highly formal to…


Book cover of Orkneyinga Saga: The History of the Earls of Orkney

M.A. Grant Author Of The Iron Crown

From my list on making you fall madly in love with Orkney.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I stepped off the ferry onto Mainland Orkney, a piece of myself I never knew was missing suddenly slotted into place. Orkney became my geographic soulmate and I knew that The Darkest Court trilogy’s final book—and final battle—would have to take place there. Whenever I find myself longing to return, I pick up one of these books and throw myself back into the stories and histories that caught hold of my imagination all those years ago. I hope they stir your sense of magic and wonder the same way.

M.A.'s book list on making you fall madly in love with Orkney

M.A. Grant Why did M.A. love this book?

I’m a sucker for pretty much any saga, those pieces of literature where legend and myth and history mingle into a perfect mixture of inspiration for the creative mind. This saga gives us a who’s who of historical figures, as well as poetic stories about journeys, battles, and political maneuverings. My favorite bits are the smaller, easier to overlook details though, such as the cause of Sigurd the Powerful’s death. The Orkneyinga is a consuming read about the history of Orkney through medieval eyes.

By Anonymous, Hermann Pálsson (translator), Paul Edwards (translator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Orkneyinga Saga as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written around AD 1200 by an unnamed Icelandic author, the Orkneyinga Saga is an intriguing fusion of myth, legend and history. The only medieval chronicle to have Orkney as the central place of action, it tells of an era when the islands were still part of the Viking world, beginning with their conquest by the kings of Norway in the ninth century. The saga describes the subsequent history of the Earldom of Orkney and the adventures of great Norsemen such as Sigurd the Powerful, St Magnus the Martyr and Hrolf, the conqueror of Normandy. Savagely powerful and poetic, this is…


Book cover of The Faroe Islanders’ Saga

Judith Jesch Author Of The Viking Diaspora

From my list on medieval books about Viking Islands.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a Professor of Viking Studies at the University of Nottingham and have been teaching, researching, and writing about all aspects of the Viking Age and its aftermath for many years. My particular expertise is in the poetry, sagas, and runic writings of medieval Scandinavia. To understand these, it has been important to me to follow in the footsteps of the Vikings from the Baltic to North America, to see the places they were familiar with, and to experience the traces of their culture in those places. These books tell the stories which will guide the armchair traveller on the same voyages.

Judith's book list on medieval books about Viking Islands

Judith Jesch Why did Judith love this book?

North of Britain, the Vikings encountered the uninhabited Sheep Isles, or the Faroes, before they went on to discover their better-known settlement of Iceland. Connections remained close, and in the 13th century, an unknown Icelandic author wrote this swashbuckling tale of the wealthy merchants and farmers who lived in these small and craggy islands in the Viking Age, their inter-island rivalries, and their tricky relationships with the rulers of their Norwegian homeland.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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