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By Sandra Hill

Has a watch for the women, loves an excellent struggle. Splits his facets over impolite jokes. will not ask instructions regardless of how misplaced he's . . . even in a longship, for the affection of Odin! Sound like an individual you recognize? possibly each guy you recognize? Toste and Vagn Ivarsson are all that and more—a lot extra. exact Viking twins, they got here squalling into this international jointly, rode their first horses on the age of 7, their first maids in the course of their 13th summer season, and rode off on longships as untried fourteen-year-old warriors. And now, having visible in basic terms thirty and one winters, they're approximately to stand Valhalla jointly. or perhaps anything much more tragic: being separated. For even the main virile Viking needs to ultimately depart his most sensible blood brother in the back of and do conflict with that the majority fearsome of all opponents—the love of his lifestyles.

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Father! What have you done now? Rona told me you brought a prisoner back from Stone Valley two sennights ago—a Norseman—and that you are holding him against his will. She also told me you have been drinking ale. What if you get those chest pains again? " "Now, now, daughter! I have everything planned out. You are not to worry. Come closer. There is someone I want you to meet. " Helga gave her full attention to Vagn for the first time. He had never been an exceedingly modest man, but he had not shaved or bathed for at least fifteen days, and his hair had not been cut for a year.

In a voice choked with deep sentiment, he said, "This will be our last battle, then. " Vagn asked. " They smiled warmly at each other, glad to have made a long-overdue decision. "That reminds me of a saga I have been writing," Bolthor the Skald—also known as Bolthor the World's Worst Skald—said as he huffed up behind them. Bolthor was a giant of a man, still well muscled from fighting, even at forty and more years, but he had lost one eye at the Battle of Brunanburh some twenty years ago. It was a liability for a soldier.

The destrier, made skittish by the pelting ice, was one of the few horses on the field today. Most of the soldiers preferred to walk the short distance to the monastery… which was turning out to be not so short a distance, after all. It was a rare peaceable time in Britain. King Edgar, being only twenty and one years old and busy fornicating with every female who crossed his path, was heavily under the influence of Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, whom he'd brought back from exile. While Edgar sinned, Dunstan built more monasteries for his king's penance.

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