Reviews - What do customers think about Beorn the Proud (Living History Library)?
Simply superb--Great historical fiction for older kids and adults Apr 14, 2008
Another in Bethlehem's series of excellent historical fiction reprints, Beorn the Proud tells a harrowing tale of the 9th century Norsemen. Beorn is the 12-year-old son of the Sea King, Anlaf, a pagan raider who pillages the Christian settlements on the Irish coast. During one of these raids, Beorn captures young Ness, the daughter of an Irish chieftan. Having lost her entire family but little of her combative nature, Ness wins the grudging admiration of Beorn, but the enmity of his rival, the powerful Helge. When Beorn's father dies, Helge usurps Beorn's inheritance and has his eye on an even bigger prize--the throne of all Denmark. Can Beorn reclaim his heritage and warn the ancient King in time?
Beorn the Proud is a superb tale of the Dark Ages on the fringe of Europe. The characters are wonderfully drawn--particularly the main characters. Beorn's extreme pride, rooted in pagan conceit, is challenged repeatedly throughout the book and I found his reactions very true to life. Ness, on the other hand, is independent and stubborn, with a sense of humility and Christian piety that is often subsumed by her too-quick tongue.
The book is a quick and easy read for kids 12 and up and is deep enough for adults to enjoy as well. The plot is quick paced and the style is tight and flows very well. I highly recommend it!
14 year-old reviewer Mar 31, 2005
Polland, while delving nicely into the setting and background of ninth century Viking Age, lost me entirely with the child-like dialogue and weak story-line. Much of her writing was un-realistic and therefore highly un-appreciated. Her writing definately needs to be brushed up several notches. While she develops her characters personalties nicely enough she then twists them around in odd ways that make the book rather undesirable. The book was rather boring all in all, I would not recommend it for an enjoyable read. If your having your child read this book for school and learning, fine then, It does indeed have valuable information concerning ninth century background, but if you want a nice book to enjoy, this is not the one for you!
The Life of Vikings Dec 29, 2004
This adventure is told through the eyes of a 9th century Irish girl, Ness, who is kidnapped by a Viking Sea-Captain's son after the raid of their village. She gradually becomes friends with him after the two struggle to learn of the differences in one another's cultures. Tenacious Ness and prideful Beorn provide entertaining dialogue! While it is not challenging to convince a young man to read exciting Viking adventures, this book was equally enjoyed by my daughter.
Inspiring adventure story Jul 6, 2001
This is an exciting adventure story that keeps the reader's interest while modeling values without being preachy. My eight-year-old just finished this as part of our Viking studies. He enjoyed it greatly and would read us his favorite passages. I found the historical elements complemented what we had already learned from non-fiction. While this type book is generally what would be considered a "boys' books", the presence of a strong major female character might make this book more appealing to some of the girls than other stories of this genre. Ness is in the midst of the action, and exhibits courage, intelligence, and compassion. These and other virtues are shown in the characters as traits worthy to develop. Specifically, Beorn learns the dangers of pride and how a Viking chief can be both gentle and strong. A great book - I highly recommend.
Great Historical fiction for homeschoolers May 30, 2000
I thoroughly enjoyed this story set in the 9th century ofIreland. The main characters are Beorn, 12 year old son of a Vikingsea king, and Ness, a young Irish girl who has just witnessed the raiding of her village by the Vikings. Ness is taken captive by Beorn and is forced to go to Denmark with the Vikings. The contrast between the gentle irish farmers and the proud and cruel Vikings is great, but we also see the courage of both races as the two slowly become friends. Ness' christian faith shines amidst the turmoil of constant raiding and plundering. The living conditions of the Irish and the Danes are seen and hints of the influence of Norse history. It is easy to care about Ness, but Madeleine Pollands skillful writing made me start to care about Beorn also. Exciting, inspiring, historical and good literature make this book a good resource for homeschoolers.