An Oath to Odin
by Richard Cooper

"Oh, mighty Odin…I, Thor, son of Gren, pledge my life in your service…I will rebuild my father’s village and avenge the deaths of my people…"

When marauding barbarians invade Thor’s Viking village and wreak havoc, murdering all of his family and neighbors, fifteen-year-old Thor swears revenge against his enemies. He makes a mighty oath that he will bring glory and prestige to Odin while rebuilding his father’s village and avenging the deaths of his people. Determined to succeed at any cost, Thor sets out on an arduous journey, with only the help of a handful of people, two bags of coins, and an old longboat. Armed with fortitude, patience, and fearlessness, he slowly but steadily builds a powerful empire through trading, raiding, exploration, and diplomacy, subsequently fulfilling his destiny.

Cooper crafts a magnificent tale of action and adventure set in the world of the Vikings. Using Thor’s experiences with politics, finance, administration, expeditions, and war, Cooper focuses on how an inexperienced boy evolves to become a great chieftain and warrior and uses his authority and skills to fight battles, recruit skilled people, help others, and expand his kingdom. Implementation of changes like the abolition of slavery and reduction of tithe earns him the respect of his people and allies, while his keen sense of judgment, foresight, and business acumen allow him to transform Oslo into a prosperous community that also has sound military security.

Blessed by Odin, Thor is guided by the wisdom and friendship of equally strong characters like Greta, his wife; Garth, his master-at-arms; Ahmed, his scribe and bookkeeper; and Char, the soothsayer. Thor’s final attainment of the Sword of Vengeance makes him a complete hero. Cooper’s lively, sharp writing effortlessly captures all aspects of Viking life and society—their feasts and victory celebrations, their hunting and battle strategies, architectural and naval techniques, obstacle-ridden voyages, trading relations, and exchange of news. Gripping and intense, this is a truly memorable saga of power and glory.

Return to USR Home