Friday, 19 October 2012

The Demon Of Scattery I

The Demon Of Scattery (New York, 1980) is written by Poul Anderson and Mildred Downey Broxon and illustrated by Alicia Austin. For convenience, I will refer to it here simply as an Anderson novel. It is one of five closely connected Viking novels.

The Broken Sword, Hrolf Kraki's Saga and War Of The Gods all feature Odin as a character. The Demon Of Scattery, a tale told during a journey undertaken in The Broken Sword, is about the grandfather of the title character of Mother Of Kings. Although Anderson never wrote the projected sequel to The Broken Sword, itself a sequel to an Edda and a Saga, he certainly wrote a lot more around the subject.

The illustrations add considerably to the pleasure of reading The Demon Of Scattery. Early in the novel, a nun captured by Vikings, and lamenting their raid on an Easter Sunday, quotes, " 'Eli, Eli, lamach sabachthani?' " For an extremely powerful use of this quotation in modern science fiction, see Perelandra by CS Lewis.

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