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The Half-Drowned King: A Novel Audiobook, by Linnea Hartsuyker Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Linnea Hartsuyker Narrator: Matthew Lloyd Davies Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Golden Wolf Saga Release Date: August 2017 ISBN: 9780062683656
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An exhilarating saga of the Vikings that conjures a brutal, superstitious, and thrilling ninth-century world and the birth of a kingdom—the debut installment in a historical literary trilogy that combines the bold imagination and sweeping narrative power of Game of Thrones, Vikings, and Outlander.

Centuries ago, in a blood-soaked land ruled by legendary gods and warring men, a prophecy foretold of a high king who would come to reign over all of the north. . . .

Ragnvald Eysteinsson, the son and grandson of kings, grew up believing that he would one day take his dead father’s place as chief of his family’s lands. But, sailing home from a raiding trip to Ireland, the young warrior is betrayed and left for dead by men in the pay of his greedy stepfather, Olaf. Rescued by a fisherman, Ragnvald is determined to have revenge for his stepfather’s betrayal, claim his birthright and the woman he loves, and rescue his beloved sister Svanhild. Opportunity may lie with Harald of Vestfold, the strong young Norse warrior rumored to be the prophesied king. Ragnvald pledges his sword to King Harald, a choice that will hold enormous consequence in the years to come.

While Ragnvald’s duty is to fight—and even die—for his honor, Svanhild must make an advantageous marriage, though her adventurous spirit yearns to see the world. Her stepfather, Olaf, has arranged a husband for her—a hard old man she neither loves nor desires. When the chance to escape Olaf’s cruelty comes at the hands of her brother’s arch rival, the shrewd young woman is forced to make a heartbreaking choice: family or freedom.

Set in a mystical and violent world defined by honor, loyalty, deceit, passion, and courage, The Half-Drowned King is an electrifying adventure that breathtakingly illuminates the Viking world and the birth of Scandinavia.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Hartsuyker brings myth and legend roaring to life in this superbly good page-turning saga of Viking-era Norway. The book’s fiercest magic shines in the characters of Ragnvald and Svanhild, as unforgettable a brother and sister duo as I can remember…The Half-Drowned King is nothing short of mesmerizing

    Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Hartsuyker illuminates these old stories with authority and visceral detail, bringing to life the adventure, bleak beauty, and human struggle that lies at their heart.”

    Madeline Miller, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Captures the sense of saga times and saga heroes: violent but litigious, treacherous but honorable, impetuous but crafty…a world brilliantly re-created by the author.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “An absolutely top-notch Viking saga, and readers will eagerly await the next two volumes in this trilogy.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Beautifully evokes the period and the mind-set of its warring peoples…The language is clear and eloquent, and the action scenes will have the blood humming in your veins. This is how tales from the old sagas should be told.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Befitting its subject matter, the book is replete with exciting battles, duels, and sieges, but the author makes Svanhild’s domestic tribulations equally dramatic.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Steeped in legend and myth, Hartsuyker’s debut is a swashbuckling epic…Hold on to your helms and grab your shields—Hartsuyker is just getting started.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • An Indie Next List selection
  • A Barnes & Noble Summer Discover Pick
  • A Booklist Best Book of 2017 in Historical Fiction
  • An Elle Magazine Pick of Summer's Best Reads
  • A Library Journal Editor’s Pick for Best Summer Escapes

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About the Author

Linnea Hartsuyker can trace her family lineage back to the first king of Norway, and this inspired her debut novel, The Half-Drowned King, the first book in her trilogy about the Vikings, which was published in the United States and six other countries. The Half-Drowned King was an Indie Next selection, a Barnes and Noble Discover Pick, and named the best historical fiction book of 2017 by the American Library Association. She grew up in the woods outside Ithaca, New York, studied Engineering at Cornell University, and received an MFA in creative writing from New York University.

About the Narrator

Matthew Lloyd Davies is a veteran actor, director, and Audie Award–winning audiobook narrator. Highlights of his acting career include regular appearances with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal National Theatre in the West End, on international tours, and in award-winning television shows and films. He has experience in radio, a master’s degree in directing, and extensive experience in presenting at corporate events.