Book Review: The Unbroken Line of the Moon by Johanne Hildebrandt

Johanne Hildebrandt’s The Unbroken Line of the Moon is a historical fiction story of a Nordic war between the Vikings and the Christians during the 10th century. In the English-translated version, it is listed as the first book of The Vahalla series. It can get a little confusing because in the original Swedish version of the series, Sagan om Valhalla, it is the fourth book. The first three books in the original series are only available in Swedish.

The Unbroken Line of the Moon begins with Sigrid (based on Sigrid the Haughty in Norse sagas) who receives a vision from the goddess Freya. The vision tells Sigrid that she will give birth to the future king of the Nordic lands. However, her father pushes her to marry King Erik of Svea to establish a good relationship between their lands in the midst of war. But Sigrid soon learns that King Erik is not the man from her vision who is meant to be the father of her future son.

Thus, Sigrid is thrust into war politics while struggling to fulfill the destiny that was set out before her by the Nordic gods. As with many stories that follow a character’s rise to power, The Unbroken Line of the Moon is scattered with violence and betrayal. It may not be for everyone, as there are depictions of rape and incest. The story is full of Nordic mythology, and the gods are a constant presence in the plot.

Since I want to learn about different mythologies and I don’t know much about the Vikings, this book- although fictional- caught my attention. Unfortunately, it didn’t do much to keep it. It took me a few months to get through it, as I kept forgetting about it before picking it back up again. Although Sigrid is meant to be a strong female character, there were moments with her that made me lose interest. None of the characters stuck out to me aside from Emma, the girl who is tasked with protecting Sigrid until she gives birth to her child.

However, I do like that the book is speckled with Norse mythology throughout it. And since I’m the type of person who hates starting things and not finishing them, I will probably end up reading the sequels whenever they’re translated into English. Hopefully the other books will do a better job of capturing my interest.

I received the Kindle version of Johanne Hildebrandt’s The Unbroken Line of the Moon through Amazon Prime’s Kindle First September 2016 Picks. Prime members are allowed to choose one free Kindle version of a selection of new book releases every month.

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