Featured this week is a very good review of the final novel in the Axe of Iron series by Tracy Roberts of Write Field Services, on Nova Scotia, Canada.
Canadian reviews are especially important to me since the entire tale of the Greenland Vikings in pre-historical North America, takes place in the region that will become Canada. (Ed.)
From the Desk of BOX 714
Write Field Services Lunenburg, Nova Scotia B0J 2C0 Canada
Assimilation: An Axe of Iron Novel
by J.A. Hunsinger
‘Assimilation : An Axe of Iron Novel' is J.A. Hunsinger's third and final novel in his ‘Axe of Iron’ novel series about the Norse people and their adventures as settlers in the new world. The Viking tale takes place about 1000 years ago in the settlement of Halfdansfjord and surrounding areas, located along the coast of North America on the east coast of James Bay, at the south end of Hudson Bay.
Hunsinger continues with the adventures of Norsemen explorers Halfdan Ingolfsson and Gudbjartur Einarsson, and their families, as well as the native tribes the Naskapi (Cree), Anishinabeg (Ojibwa), and the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). As historical fiction, ‘Assimilation’ presents a possible scenario about what may happened to the Norse people and their settlements during this period.
Assimilation’ delivers a more in-depth story of the native tribes and their impact on the Norse people and their settlements. Readers experience the conflicts, relationships, and integration of the settlers and the native peoples. Gudbjartur, once a prisoner of the Naskapi tribe, has forged an important friendship with them while living among them and adhering to their customs and practices. He goes by the name of Nipishish, meaning Axeman. Halfdan is the Chieftain of the Norse settlement, Halfdansfjord, where he is tasked with overseeing life at the settlement and trying to thwart an impending threat to the settlers and the settlement itself.
Friendships develop between settlers and Naskapi and some of the native tribes fully accept the Norse people. There is an integration of the Norse people with these tribes, particularly settlers like Gudbjartur and Ingerd’s son, Ivar Gudbjartarsson, who chose to stay with his adopted Haudenosaunee parents rather than return to his own Norse people. Readers experience native life, including their customs, rituals, practices, hunting methods, cooking methods, battle tactics, and how the Norse living among them adapted.
Along with forged friendships with the Naskapi and changing and adapting to new circumstances, the major conflict in the story which presents a possible scenario about what may have happened to the Norse people, is the Anishinabeg tribe’s declaration of War with the settlers and their determination to destroy Halfdansfjord.
Hunsinger presents an adventure rich in historical detail, with careful attention paid to customs and practices of both the Norse settlers and the Native tribes. The struggles and threats to the Norse people highlight the difficulties of maintaining a settlement. The impact of loss is a major theme as well as obsessive, brutal revenge that destroys one’s humanity as the result of a traumatic loss.
Hunsinger delivers a tale filled with action and adventure giving readers a fascinating look at life of the Norse and native tribes about 1000 years ago. ‘Assimilation: An Axe of Iron Novel' is well worth reading, particularly for those who love historical fiction.
Tracy Roberts, Write Field Services
23 October 2016