What happened to the Vikings in Greenland?
The Axe of Iron saga continues with J.A. Hunsinger’s new book “Confrontation”
By Christy Olsen Field
Norwegian American Weekly
Very little is written about the Vikings who settled in North America, but author J.A. Hunsinger helps to fill in the blanks about the Norse colony of Vinland in his historical fiction series “Axe of Iron.” The second book in the series, “Confrontation,” continues the saga of the Northmen as they discover that the land they’ve traveled to is inhabited by a network of native peoples, some of which are friendlier than others. Two calamitous events pave the way from hostile beginnings to create a dangerous scenario. Acceptance by the native peoples is the only way the Northmen will survive.
Hunsinger’s novel, like his first installment “Axe of Iron: The Settlers” is character-driven. With vivid detail about the everyday lives of the Northmen and the native peoples on every page, “Confrontation” makes for a truly enjoyable read. In addition to his extensive knowledge of Viking mores and customs, Hunsinger is well-trained in outdoor survival skills.
“All the things the characters do in the book comes from personal experience,” says Hunsinger. “I have done it all.”
Hunsinger collaborated with his brother Tom for much of the research in “Confrontation.” All the names, both Norse and native, are real names that have been carefully researched for authenticity.
“My brother Tom has an encyclopedic knowledge of Indians,” says Hunsinger. Hunsinger draws on his brother’s knowledge to create a clear and accurate picture of the native peoples for the reader.
To get a visual perspective for the land, Hunsinger took a trip with his wife Phyllis to Newfoundland. They drove 2,800 miles on the island from north to south, taking time to absorb the landscape. They took time to stop by the Leifsbudir — the Vinland settlement by Leif Erikson. The painstaking research pays off by creating a rich setting for the plot to play out.
“Confrontation” is an exciting book. The world of the Northmen is dangerous and the possibility of violence is constant. Hunsinger’s ability to pull the reader into the story and create characters that are cheered and mourned for is the mark of a great writer.
As reviewer Eric Jones writes, “It is not in just bloody confrontation that Hunsinger is interested in, but in a larger scale of inner and outer human conflict that makes the tale rife with historic intrigue and a larger ideological fable.”
To learn more, visit www.vinlandpublishing.com.
Price: $16.95 + S&H
This article was originally published in the May 21, 2010 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. For more information about the Norwegian American Weekly or to subscribe, call us toll free (800) 305-0217 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.