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The Last Viking: The True Story of King Harald Hardrada

The Last Viking: The True Story of King Harald Hardrada cover

The Last Viking: The True Story of King Harald Hardrada

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The Last Viking tells the dramatic story of King Harald Hardrada of Norway, one of the greatest warriors to have ever lived. Drawing on original source material, Don Hollway recreates the violence and drama of the late Viking era in a gripping chronicle that transports the reader from the frozen wastelands of Scandinavia to the glittering opulence of the Byzantine empire and then finally to a muddy field of rural England.

King Harald III (called Hardrada, or “Hard Ruler”) of Norway was a real-life fantasy hero who burst into history as a teenaged youth in a Viking battle, from which he escaped with little more than his life and a thirst for vengeance. Journey with him across the medieval world, from the frozen barrens of the North to the glittering towers of Byzantium and the passions of the Holy Land. He'll fight for and against Christian, Muslim and pagan rulers. He'll bed handmaids, a princess and an empress alike, writing poetry and amassing a fortune along the way, before returning home to claim his love, his crown and his destiny, ultimately dying like a Viking: in battle, laughing, with sword in hand.

The Last Viking is a fast-moving narrative that reads like a novel, combining Norse sagas, Byzantine accounts, Anglo Saxon chronicles, and even King Harald's own verse and prose, into a single, compelling story. While pointing out errors and contradictions in the ancient stories for the sake of accuracy Don Hollway brings the true tale of this hero to life.

Don Hollway is an author, illustrator, and historian. His first book, The Last Viking, is a gripping history of King Harald Hardrada which was acclaimed by bestselling author Stephen Harding and by Carl Gnam of Military Heritage magazine. He is also a classical rapier fencer and historical re-enactor. He has published articles in History Magazine, Military Heritage, Military History, Wild West and World War II to Muzzleloader, Renaissance Magazine and Scientific American. His work is also available at He lives in Dallastown, PA.

ISBN: 9781472846525

ISBN-10: 9781472846525

Publisher: Osprey Publishing

Publication Date: 09/07/2021 - 12:00am

On Sale: 09/07/2021 - 12:00am

Pages: 368

Language: English


History / Military / Medieval

History / Europe / Scandinavia

History / Byzantine Empire

History / Europe / Great Britain / Middle Ages (449-1066)