Sunday, 26 June 2016
The Broken Sword, Chapter I
Four generations. We are concerned about Valgard but must first be informed about his antecedents. Asmund and Ketil are Jutlanders but Orm moves to the English Danelaw where Valgard is born.
The prudent Orm plans to build a church for atonement of his sins but also offers:
to Thor in midwinter;
to Frey for good harvests in spring;
to Odin and Aegir for luck at sea.
That covers everything: winter, spring, land, sea and the hereafter?
So far, we might have been reading historical fiction. However, Chapter II begins:
"Imric the elf-earl rode out by night to see what had happened in the lands of men." (p. 18)
We are reading heroic fantasy - although Anderson claims in his Foreword that the text rationalizes magic as mental control of external phenomena. That would make the novel sf. However, I think that the "heroic fantasy" label sticks.