I am proud to present my debut in the literary world with my first book called “Last Viking of Norway”. Yesterday I posted a small part from it and I want to thank all for the good reception I received . As many of you who have several books under your belt know, the fear of publishing your first book is tremendous, weights heavy over you, almost wanting to crush you. So again I am thankful for all of your encouragement. What I found the hardest in this process was answering a simple question, that somehow was the first thing everyone asked. What is the book about? So few days before it is out on Amazon, I’ll try to answer that question.
Destiny. It is what binds is, connects us, it is what burdens us. As soon as we draw our first breath, entering this crazy and twisted world, we are burdened by one thing, finding a purpose. Old Vikings believed that their life is completely in the hands of destiny, from the moment of birth to the last breath they take, everything is planed. With that premonition they lost all fear, as what would they be afraid of when they have no say so in the next step. Our story starts with an unnamed boy, who came to Oslo, studying. But he wasn’t born there. He was raised in a remote village to the north, a place untouched by modern times, were old Viking tradition and stories still matter. But he is lost. Suddenly all he does feels unworthy, like all he does makes no difference. That boy is in pain, as he suffered a loss. His grandfather has passed away, his last living relative. A man he held so dear, a man who he considered a father. He wasn’t there to say his farewell, so now he needs to pick himself up, and face the fact that his father is gone and needs a burial. But the boy feels indebted. The old man was a warrior. Does he really deserve to be thrown in to the ground? Or perhaps he deserves the ultimate honor, of entering Valhalla? But no one is burned anymore. Like the old man said no more pyres for the fallen, as there is no more wars to fight in. But the young man knows that you can either deny the path destiny offers or embrace it. So he will do what he must, he will return to the village, face the elders and honor his fallen father, no matter the cost. Inspired by “Catcher in the rye”, “Perks of being a wallflower” and “Imaginary Friend”, “Last Viking of Norway” puts the perspective in the hands of a young adult, Ragnar, who asks the hard questions that even the adults are afraid of. It’s is a story about destiny and how loud can one man’s actions be. That after all, even the oldest of us, can’t see the errors of our ways, one man can be enough to redeem all. But then again if we take the path destiny offers, should we be afraid of the outcome of that path?
To many “The last Viking of Norway” is a tale of destiny and the question it often presents to us. The question of the story we leave after we are long gone. Be it glory, be it suffering, the echoes of the whispers we leave can ether shake throughout history or be silenced by one word. With our story we can inspire generations or warn them, to heed our steps we took that brought us to our despair. But this story, Ragnar’s story, does not just belong to him. He selflessly bows himself to the elements, to destiny herself, to offer a tale that will be told for years to come. A story of one man who dared to prove he was worthy, against the feeble hearts of men who dared to corrupt. Despite the heavy flow of the river he found himself in, he swam against it, against men who were older and thought with age comes wisdom, honor and respect, as if those were mere things that can be owned and bought. His story belongs to his people, all people, to never forget its hardship, the price it may take, but the story that the path to it entails, as on it we must prove our own worth, make our own honor and tell our own tale. And it is up to us how our story will be told. But the question of this tale perhaps is a more selfish one. Perhaps it is not the matter how others will tell our story even after we are gone, as they say history is written by the victor, or better yet to the ones who are left breathing after we pass. Perhaps the more important task is how we view our own story, as who is better to know the pain, the suffering and joy we endured, but ourselves. It is tale of a young man who goes against his elders, the ones many looked up to lead them. But our protagonist, Ragnar, sees their corruption, the betrayal of the old ways they hold so dear. Even if the truth was that they honor tradition and the past as it sees fit with the power they hold, no one would believe Ragnar, just a mere boy who dares to slander older and more experienced than himself . A son to a father who tried the same, bringing shame to the whole family. But the family name still holds value to his people, thanks to his Grandfather, who led them, helped them and was one of them. But after his grandfather passes away, Ragnar is faced with a choice to honor him, not as a man, but a true Viking. Which meant giving him a proper funeral in their old way. Even if the village held to the old traditions, Viking funerals were forbidden, as they were reserved for only the ones that fell in battle, not people like his Grandfather who died from natural causes. Still Ragnar feels in debt to a man who raised him and to who all looked up, seeing a true warrior. For that he is willing to go against the elders, who hold the power unchallenged. But honoring the old man was not the only thing that haunted the young Ragnar. When he last saw him, Grandfather confessed that his father was obsessed by a legend that even wasn’t told to Ragnar, a legend of a lone and lost warrior, the last Viking, who will be summoned by only the most worthy of his blood, to lead his people back to the age of glory, an age that Ragnar’s father, just like him, thought his people long forgot. His father got lost in that legend, which somehow made its way deep into Ragnar’s mind, making him follow the path to find the lost warrior and redeem his people. Just like Salinger’s Holden, Ragnar sees the world differently than the adults that live above him. He despises their power over all, as he sees the corrupt ways it led them too. Unlike Holden, Ragnar does not let pride or adolescent cockiness cloud his intention. He was raised on old stories of gods and heroes, filled with honor and glory, he understands the burden destiny provides, accepting the duty of bringing the long lost forgotten glory to his people. But even with that high dose of understanding, Ragnar is filled with rage towards the elders, the adults in his world and their blindness to things so obvious. But there are things higher than Ragnar, higher then the elders, his father or his grandfather. No matter what the price is, he is ready to pay it, to endure all the hardship, as the actions of one man can still matter, can still be enough to redeem them all. Because they are Norse, they endure.
Inspired by J.D Salinger and Stephen Chbosky, “Last Viking of Norway” tells the story of a young adult who navigates his way in the adult world. But unlike “Catcher in the rye” or “Perks of being a wallflower”, “Last Viking of Norway” puts its corner stone on tradition, obligation and honor. Unlike Holden or Charlie, Ragnar is raised on premonition of honor and the fruits his actions bring. From childhood, he is raised as a Viking, under strict discipline and strong definition of honor and its important meaning. But the similarity to the two of them is that even if Ragnar is raised in different conditions, he like them tries his best to navigate life in his surroundings. The story asks questions do the young really see problems that the adults deny and can they make a difference, even if as the adults put it, they are merely children. It is a story about obligation, honor, about how important is one man towards many and how hard or important is to honor the old ways, the past, as it comes clashing with the way we live today.
“Last Viking of Norway” out on Amazon on Saturday, 8th of August, 2020.