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BOOK REVIEWS: The People of the Sagas

Here are the latest book reviews for Icelanders in the Viking Age: The People of the Sagas by William R. Short.

• “Provides information on the daily lives, culture, history, and society of the Icelanders in a clear and well-structured fashion that invites and informs modern readers. The 13 chapters are concise, and clearly laid out sections allow readers to review specific themes or read the work as a whole. Using both literary and archaeological sources, Short presents a detailed, succinct, and informative overview of Icelanders of the saga age as well as the sagas themselves. Readers are enticed into further exploration of Viking–age Iceland with the inclusion of detailed chapter notes and recommendations for further readings. This useful introduction to the Viking age is an essential companion to the medieval narratives…. The author’s in-depth research makes this a compelling, informative addition to almost any collection dealing with the sagas or the Viking age. Highly recommended. General and academic collections, all levels.”—Choice

• “Informative…Short has done an excellent job…most interesting…I unhesitatingly recommend this book to anyone with even a shred of interest in the Viking era…faultless…tells a coherent story…this is a book stuffed full of interesting material for anyone interested in the sagas, the Viking age, the Icelandic Commonwealth, and early contact with the New World. Highly recommended”—Armed and Dangerous

• “A warning to readers. You may find you need to hide your copy of this book…chapters on pretty much all aspects of daily life…. You don’t need to be a specialist in anthropology or history to understand…illustrated with numerous black and white photographs of Iceland and Icelandic artifacts, drawings and maps…enjoyed it very much. You’ve got to hand it to McFarland as they publish some fascinating books”—Green Man Review

• “A perfect companion or an introduction to reading the sagas…very easy to read, and covers many topics in the life of the people in Iceland during those times…covers religion, laws, feuds, home life, and the settlement, among other topics…truly gives you an overview of what everyday life was like…[Short’s] research is flawless, and his sources are well-documented…bibliography is impressive…very well-indexed…entertaining, easy-to-read and very educational”—Lögberg-Heimskringla

• “Well-structured, easily understandable and practical…digs deep into a wide range of archaeological and literary sources…presents readers with a realistic account of life in the saga age…excellent…thorough and accurate…interesting…especially helpful”—Iceland Review

• “Riveting exploration…a solid addition”—Midwest Book Review

• “Fresh and interesting…a most readable book”—SMART: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Teaching

• “Comprehensive but accessible history…. All aspects of society are covered including laws, conflict, domestic work, agriculture, gender roles, trade and production. Blending literature, legal codes, chronicles and archaeology and embellishing them with pictures, many of which he took himself. Short’s book is a perfect companion to the study of the Icelandic sagas”—Reference and Research Book News