No Snakes in Iceland
Set in the wild edge of the world in the 10th century, No Snakes in Iceland is the story of Edgar, an English poet adrift in the world of his enemies, the heathen Vikings.
Though far from home and seething with bitter hate, Edgar is recruited by a strange young man to come to a farm in a far-off glacial valley—and kill a ghost. Accompanied only by his confessor Sifrid and an arrogant young monk, Edgar rides to the winter-bound farm and meets hostile fighters, outlaws, berserks, a family torn asunder by a generation of strife, and, always looming, the fearsome mound-dweller that terrorizes the farmstead by night.
No Snakes in Iceland is the story of both one man lost and lonely in the world, and of a world in the grip of supernatural forces it cannot understand.
Click here to read an exclusive excerpt from No Snakes in Iceland.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:
I loved this book. The setting is obviously intriguing—Iceland in Viking times. Told from the viewpoint of an outsider who is forced to get involved in a local problem, the book gives a fascinating view of life in this place and time. But that's not the whole appeal of the book. The narrator is a person who grows and changes over the course of events, a very sympathetic figure trying to deal with old memories and hurts. The Icelandic cast is large and fascinating. There is plenty of action, the questions and deaths to be understood and solved are plausible, and the story is paced well. You care about what happens to the people in the story, and for me, that is the most important thing in a book.
—Claudia at Goodreads
It's hard to pick a genre for this first novel from Jordan Poss—it's a solid historical adventure novel that goes into supernatural\horror territory; the author does it so confidently you doubt it's a first novel. It's not 'quirky' or 'odd' by any means, but a grounded, fascinating journey through a medieval Iceland where myth and reality collide.
The story follows an English missionary as he's dispatched to a small Viking village to kill what is, essentially, a zombie that's been ravaging the countryside. But don't be fooled by the horror movie byline: No Snakes in Iceland is superbly paced, introspective in tone, reads like an adventure novel, and deals powerfully with themes of hate, sin, and redemption.
What impresses me about this novel most is what it's not: It's not ugly; it stays focused on character, especially its self-doubting protagonist; its slow-burn first half pays off with some superb action scenes in the second.
—John at Goodreads
The highest praise I can give this book, is that I hope this is not the last we hear of Edgar Song-Shaper and his penance in Iceland. The aforementioned hero, Edgar, is complex and conflicted and the author conveys Edgar's bitterly held grief in an incredibly believable way. Jordan Poss's obvious enthusiasm for pre-medieval culture and language is palpable and impressive. I thoroughly enjoyed No Snakes In Iceland! If you're concerned about the self-published nature of this novel, have no fear. The editing is well done and story and character development are excellent. A fabulous story!
—Derek at Amazon.com
Very well crafted historical fiction set in Viking Iceland, circa AD 1000. . . . Poss's writing is strong and he shows a thoughtful grasp of the times and culture. He deftly handles the religious conflict between what is viewed as a foreign faith in Christianity and a native paganism without being heavy handed. It's part Bernard Cornwell, part ghost story, part whodunit. Highly recommended.
—Alan at Amazon
This work contains all the power of a great epic contained in the simplicity of modern English. No Snakes in Iceland earned my five star rating unequivocally. . . . Poss has combined a classic ghost-feud-revenge tale with a unique protagonist. Our hero is no warrior, no prince, no humble farmer. Instead of these morality tale tropes, we cheer on a poet begrudgingly wielding his sword in defense of what seems right—or, at times, what he is told is right. It's not often the scop tells his own tale with such introspection.
Like all good epics, our protagonist must face his inner demons; or, in this case, decapitate his own snake. As this internal struggle is integral to the story, I won't divulge it here. There's such a thing as too many spoilers.
I encourage you to read it yourself and judge for yourself. It will be time well spent.
—Jay at Goodreads
FANTASTIC! I loved it from the beginning. It reads like a classic and it had everything I look for in a great book: interesting characters, great story, mystery and surprises that really caught me by surprise. It felt authentic and made my "brain-helmet" want more! Thank you Mr. Poss. I am looking forward to another!
—Deborah at Goodreads
I was a little unsure about the title of the book, but once I started reading, I could not put it down. It is unpredictable all the way through and the descriptions show the knowledge that the author has of the times he is writing. I love the details he has included as he describes the characters, and the wonderful glossary makes the 10th century words understandable. Looking forward to reading more of his books in the future. This is a first class read.
—Marianne at Amazon.com