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Eric Brighteyes


H. Rider Haggard

Eric Brighteyes
average rating is 4 out of 5

Classics, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance

R. Alex Jenkins

Imagine a Norse god of a man with the widest chest and craziest good looks, wielding swords, golden helm on head and a moral viewpoint capable of chiseling granite? That's Eric Brighteyes for you.

Imagine the most beautiful maidens in Iceland to die for, with oddly unattractive names like Groa and Gudruda, although Swanhild comes to the rescue as a beautiful name with a hell of a bad attitude.

Eric is a hero of heroes, a man's man and a woman's dream, loved by all for constantly being on the edge and fighting for what's right.

To my knowledge, this is the favourite book of director Stanley Kubrick, which is why I decided to read it. It has massive potential. It's also referenced by J.R.R. Tolkien as one of his major influences, which is another reason to explore its depths.

It actually feels like the birthing mother of Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and the similarities are uncanny. Warring families from north to south, brave warriors, gorgeously conniving witches and bitches, romantic interests by the spades - this is probably the blueprint of everything we've grown to love about Middle Earth and Westeros.

This book was published in 1891, so imagine its use of formal language and the rather rustic storytelling method. Third-party pronouns are used all the time with 'they' did this, 'he' did that, and such and such happens in a rudimentary, straightforward, extremely informative and action-packed way with hardly any filler, which is surprising for such an old book.

The simplicity is reminiscent of The Once and Future King (Arthur) by T.H. White through its naive and open approach. You know you're in for a treat by chapter two but it takes a long time to heat up until the later third of the book.

Some of the terminology is absolutely awesome too, such as 'rede' to mean advice or counsel, and 'fey' as a warning or foreboding attitude, and the amazing 'weregild' phrase as a penalty for killing someone.

Eric Brighteyes isn't the most thrilling read and is strangely sedate and predictable most of the time, but is also historical, informative and unexpectedly charming.

I can't believe this book has had so little exposure. It's the ultimate marauding story of good versus evil with romantic undertones.

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