100 books like Vikings

By William F. Fitzhugh, Elisabeth Ward,

Here are 100 books that Vikings fans have personally recommended if you like Vikings. 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 D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths

George Hagen Author Of Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle

From my list on Viking gods & heroes.

Why am I passionate about this?

George Hagen is a Brooklyn writer who has written two adventure books for children about talking ravens. Hagen lived on three different continents by the time he was eleven, and developed a tremendous passion for folktales of all cultures from Africa, Egypt, Greece, Europe, and Celtic and Norse myth. His children's books were inspired by the myth of the Viking God Odin whose two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, flew around the land of ice and fire, reporting all the news. Hagen has appeared before hundreds of students, unraveling the secret mystery of riddles (modern and ancient) at schools from New York to Los Angeles.

George's book list on Viking gods & heroes

George Hagen Why did George love this book?

The D'Aulaire's book is a visual feast of stories from the land of ice, fire and Viking culture. The tales are well-told and exciting. It comes with lively illustrations which offer children who haven't encountered Thor, Odin, Freya or Loki before, a panorama of this marvelous world and the many adventures of the Norse Gods.

By Ingri D'Aulaire, Edgar Parin D'Aulaire,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Caldecott medal-winning d'Aulaires once again captivate their young audience with this beautifully illustrated introduction to Norse legends, telling stories of Odin the All-father, Thor the Thunder-god and the theft of his hammer, Loki the mischievous god of the Jotun Race, and Ragnarokk, the destiny of the gods. Children meet Bragi, the god of poetry, and the famous Valkyrie maidens, among other gods, goddesses, heroes, and giants. Illustrations throughout depict the wondrous other world of Norse folklore and its fantastical Northern landscape.


Book cover of The Viking Achievement

Linnea Hartsuyker Author Of The Half-Drowned King

From my list on understanding the Vikings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer of historical fiction. When I was in my teens, my family embarked on a project to trace our ancestry and identify our living relatives. Through church records in Sweden and Norway, we found that Harald Fairhair (Harfagr), the first king of Norway is one of our ancestors. Those explorations gave me the seeds of my first novel of Viking-Age Norway, The Half-Drowned King, and the subsequent books in the trilogy.

Linnea's book list on understanding the Vikings

Linnea Hartsuyker Why did Linnea love this book?

This is one of the first books of Viking history that approached the Vikings on their own terms rather than their effect on Christian Europe. It illuminates areas of their lives like Viking technology, laws, and social organizations, and then how Viking explorers, traders, and raiders exported those abroad. As I began researching my Viking novels, this was one of the books that brought me into the Viking world the most fully.

By P.G. Foote, D.M. Wilson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This is an account of the Norsemen in the period A.D. 800-1200, and is written primarily for the general reader but will also serve the needs of many university students.


Book cover of Women in the Viking Age

Linnea Hartsuyker Author Of The Half-Drowned King

From my list on understanding the Vikings.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a writer of historical fiction. When I was in my teens, my family embarked on a project to trace our ancestry and identify our living relatives. Through church records in Sweden and Norway, we found that Harald Fairhair (Harfagr), the first king of Norway is one of our ancestors. Those explorations gave me the seeds of my first novel of Viking-Age Norway, The Half-Drowned King, and the subsequent books in the trilogy.

Linnea's book list on understanding the Vikings

Linnea Hartsuyker Why did Linnea love this book?

Myths about viking women abound, but Judith Jesch’s book is grounded in what we can know from the archeological, historical, and literary record. That still paints a vivid picture of the Viking women who remained in the traditional feminine sphere, and those who ventured into men’s. As Women in the Viking Age reveals, Viking women were farmers, housewives, managers of hundreds of servants, explorers, priestesses, rich benefactors, and war-leaders. In many ways, their lives were more varied than men’s.

By Judith Jesch,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Well-illustrated, closely argued and fascinating. GUARDIAN

This is the first book-length study in English to investigate what women did in the Viking age, both at home in Scandinavia and in the Viking coloniesfrom Greenland to Russia. Evidence for their lives is fragmentary, but Judith Jesch assembles the clues provided by archaeology, runic inscriptions, place names and personal names, foreign historical records and Old Norse literature and mythology. These sources illuminate different aspects of women's lives in the Viking age, on the farms and in the trading centres of Scandinavia, abroad on Viking expeditions, and as settlers in places such as…


Book cover of Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths

Asa Maria Bradley Author Of A Wolf's Hunger: A Sexy Fated Mates Paranormal Romance

From my list on the gods and world of Norse mythology.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology steeped in Viking history, which fueled my interest in Norse mythology. For example, Uppåkra, the largest and richest Iron Age settlement in Scandinavia, is only a few miles from my childhood home. When my seventh-grade history teacher noticed my fascination with the Viking myths, he started recommending me books. Ever since, I’ve read extensively about the Norse pantheon, and its stories inspire my own writing. I’ve also taken several research trips to historical Viking settlements in Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland.

Asa's book list on the gods and world of Norse mythology

Asa Maria Bradley Why did Asa love this book?

The very fact that we have written records of the Viking myths, other than Runestones, is thanks to Icelandic historian, poet, and politician Snorri Sturluson. His Icelandic Sagas inspired many writers, including Tolkien and Lewis. In her biography of this influential medieval writer, Ms. Brown not only tells us about Sturluson’s life but also summarizes much of his writing and puts it into context with Norse fables. If you’ve ever wondered how much of the Viking stories were historical facts and how much of it is Sturluson’s imagination, this is a great book to read.

By Nancy Marie Brown,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An Indie Next pick for December 2012, Song of the Vikings brings to life Snorri Sturluson, wealthy chieftain, wily politician, witty storyteller, and the sole source of Viking lore for all of Western literature. Tales of one-eyed Odin, Thor and his mighty hammer, the trickster Loki, and the beautiful Valkyries have inspired countless writers, poets, and dreamers through the centuries, including Richard Wagner, JRR Tolkien, and Neil Gaiman, and author Nancy Marie Brown brings alive the medieval Icelandic world where it all began. She paints a vivid picture of the Icelandic landscape, with its colossal glaciers and volcanoes, steaming hot…


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 Vinland Sagas

Michael Ridpath Author Of Where the Shadows Lie

From my list on to read if you want to understand Iceland.

Why am I passionate about this?

In 2009, when I decided to set a crime series in Iceland, I embarked on a decade of research into the country, its people, its literature, its culture, and its elves. I visited the country, I spoke to its inhabitants and I read books, lots of books – I couldn’t find an elf, but I was told where they live. I needed to understand its criminals, its victims, its police, and most of all my detective Magnus Jonson. These are the best books that helped me get to grips with Iceland.

Michael's book list on to read if you want to understand Iceland

Michael Ridpath Why did Michael love this book?

I love the sagas. They are stories first told a thousand years ago about the Norse settlers in Iceland. They are crisp, subtle, exciting with some excellent characters, especially the women. My favourites are the two Vinland Sagas, which describe the discovery of Greenland and then North America (Vinland) by Erik the Red and his family. This includes the wonderful Gudrid, who was born in Iceland, got married in Greenland, gave birth to a child called Snorri in Vinland, and then went on a pilgrimage to Rome. All in about 1000 AD! 

By Unknown, Keneva Kunz (translator),

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Vinland Sagas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



The Saga of the Greenlanders and Eirik the Red's Saga contain the first ever descriptions of North America, a bountiful land of grapes and vines, discovered by Vikings five centuries before Christopher Columbus. Written down in the early thirteenth century, they recount the Icelandic settlement of Greenland by Eirik the Red, the chance discovery by seafaring adventurers of a mysterious new land, and Eirik's son Leif the Lucky's perilous voyages to explore it. Wrecked by storms, stricken by disease and plagued by navigational mishaps, some survived the North Atlantic to pass down this compelling tale of the first Europeans to…


Book cover of The Sea Road

Nikki Marmery Author Of On Wilder Seas: The Woman on the Golden Hind

From my list on historical sea voyages.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a historical fiction writer living in a landlocked village in the Chilterns, UK. I became obsessed with long sea voyages while researching my debut novel, On Wilder Seas, which is inspired by the true story of Maria, the only woman aboard the Golden Hind during Francis Drake’s circumnavigation voyage in 1577-1580. I immersed myself in the literature of the sea, in early modern sailors’ accounts of their terrifying voyages, in their wills and diaries, in maps and sea-logs. A ship is the perfect setting for a novel: the confined space, the impossibility of escape, the ever-present danger – and the hostile, unforgiving sea is the ultimate antagonist.

Nikki's book list on historical sea voyages

Nikki Marmery Why did Nikki love this book?

The ‘sea-fiction’ literary canon is very male-focused. But in the real world, women put to sea too, and were sometimes at the forefront of exploration. Maria, the heroine of my novel, was the first non-native woman to set foot on the northwest coast of America, when she arrived with Francis Drake during his circumnavigation voyage in the summer of 1579. Five hundred years earlier, on the other side of the continent, another female pioneer, Gudrid Thorbjarnardóttir, explored and settled the Newfoundland coast. 

Gudrid, the ‘Far Travelled’ of Icelandic sagas, is brought to life in this beautifully written and vividly imagined novel. Rich in historical detail and steeped in the mythology and worldview of the Vikings, it’s a thoroughly convincing portrait of an extraordinary woman at the edge of the known world.

By Margaret Elphinstone,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A haunting, compelling historical novel, The Sea Road is a daring re-telling of the 11th-century Viking exploration of the North Atlantic from the viewpoint of one extraordinary woman. Gudrid lives at the remote edge of the known world, in a starkly beautiful landscape where the sea is the only connection to the shores beyond. It is a world where the old Norse gods are still invoked, even as Christianity gains favour, where the spirits of the dead roam the vast northern ice-fields, tormenting the living, and Viking explorers plunder foreign shores.

Taking the accidental discovery of North America as its…


Book cover of European Approaches to North America, 1450-1640

David Boyle Author Of Toward the Setting Sun: Columbus, Cabot, Vespucci, and the Race for America

From my list on the European re-discovery of America.

Why am I passionate about this?

Of all the books I have ever written, this one most allowed me to make it possible to see how the full story adds to the history we know – the vital importance of context. For example, that Cabot set sail just as Bristol was defending itself against the approaching rebel army led by Perkin Warbeck. Or that the Pope at the time, ruling over the church and the world, was the Borgia Pope Alexander VI. I loved researching it and I still feel part of it. My father lives in Spain, which helped enormously.

David's book list on the European re-discovery of America

David Boyle Why did David love this book?

Professor Quinn wrote this book about 25 years ago, yet I learned a vast amount from it. It is certainly dryer than some accounts, but he could see beyond the immediate stories. In fact, it was this book that first suggested that the so-called ‘Enterprise of the Indies’ began as a joint venture between Cabot and the Columbus brothers that went wrong. I certainly subscribe to that view myself.

By David B. Quinn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked European Approaches to North America, 1450-1640 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

European Approaches to North America, 1450-1640 by David Quinn provides a series of insights into the early cartography and exploration of the North Atlantic and North America, and what was believed and written about this by Europeans. Its focus is the two hundred years from the mid-15th century. The work demonstrates how detailed studies can throw much light on more general developments, and enable them to be seen close up. It is primarily concerned with English developments, but looks also at Champlain and Henri IV and the origins of French settlement in Canada, while the final paper - one of…


Book cover of This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland

Laura Galloway Author Of Dalvi: Six Years in the Arctic Tundra

From my list on life changing books on life in the Arctic (and other cold climates!).

Why am I passionate about this?

Why I chose to write about cold climates: I spent nearly seven years living in the North of Norway in the Sámi reindeer herding village called Guovdageaidnu, or Kautokeino in Norwegian. I cherish my time in that part of the world. 

Laura's book list on life changing books on life in the Arctic (and other cold climates!)

Laura Galloway Why did Laura love this book?

I had never been to Greenland when I first read Gretal Erlich’s book, and I knew very little about this mysterious continent. What I loved most about Erlich’s writing is that she really takes readers on a journey, introducing us to the people she meets in her travels, which are as fascinating as her singular way of describing the landscape, which is like no other place on earth.

Many years later, I travelled to Greenland and appreciated the accuracy of her descriptions firsthand. 

By Gretel Ehrlich,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Cold Heaven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For the last decade, Gretel Ehrlich has been obsessed by an island, a terrain, a culture, and the treacherous beauty of a world that is defined by ice. In This Cold Heaven she combines the story of her travels with history and cultural anthropology to reveal a Greenland that few of us could otherwise imagine.

Ehrlich unlocks the secrets of this severe land and those who live there; a hardy people who still travel by dogsled and kayak and prefer the mystical four months a year of endless darkness to the gentler summers without night. She discovers the twenty-three words…


Book cover of Journey to the Center of the Earth

Benjamin Hoffmann Author Of Sentinel Island

From my list on forbidden territories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor of French Literature and Creative Writing at The Ohio State University. A Franco-American writer, I am the author of books and essays published in both France and the United States, including Posthumous America, The Paradoxes of Posterity, American Pandemonium, and Sentinel Island. My work encompasses various genres (novel, short story, essay, and critical study) to explore recurring themes: exile and the representation of otherness; disinformation and the social impact of new technologies; nostalgia and the experience of mourning; the legacy of the Enlightenment and the Age of Great Discoveries; and America’s history and its troubled present.

Benjamin's book list on forbidden territories

Benjamin Hoffmann Why did Benjamin love this book?

In this book, Jules Verne takes readers on an extraordinary journey deep beneath the Earth’s surface, exploring uncharted realms and encountering strange and wondrous phenomena.

Through the intrepid expedition led by Professor Lidenbrock, the novel captures the human fascination with the unknown and continues a rich literary tradition dedicated to imagining what wonders might be concealed under the surface of our world.

As the characters navigate through subterranean landscapes filled with peril and discovery, Verne masterfully explores themes of exploration, adventure, and the limits of human knowledge. This timeless classic continues to captivate readers with its imaginative portrayal of a forbidden world hidden beneath our feet.

By Jules Verne,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Journey to the Center of the Earth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

"The reason Verne is still read by millions today is simply that he was one of the best storytellers who ever lived." — Arthur C. Clarke
An adventurous geology professor chances upon a manuscript in which a 16th-century explorer claims to have found a route to the earth's core. Professor Lidenbrock can't resist the opportunity to investigate, and with his nephew Axel, he sets off across Iceland in the company of Hans Bjelke, a native guide. The expedition descends into an extinct volcano toward a sunless sea, where they encounter a subterranean world of luminous rocks, antediluvian forests, and fantastic…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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