As part of Boydells history of the Sword, the Swords of the Viking Age is my first look at the books in this series.
The start of the book provides some meat on the bone of the sword classification of this period (Petersen). I found this section very interesting but would suggest it is quite heavy going as there are a lot of long paragraphs of text.
That said it is well worth sticking with it.
I also did enjoy the saga references dotted through out this section to create a feeling that the sword is more that just an inanimate objects that have been photographed.
Most of the book, nearly 120 pages, has very detailed information and pictures of the swords themselves, any distinguishing features (such as engraving). This follows the Petersen classification (Tip – just look to the top right of the page to see the pommel and hilt classification) so is a good way to layout the book as a chronological look at Viking swords. It is almost like a set of top trump cards of Vikings swords with pictures and stats.
If I am honest I didn’t really think there was too much variance in the Viking sword, but upon reading this book, I can see there is a pretty interesting development over time of the Viking sword. Form my perspective also how it lead to the middle ages swords of the Type XIV and others.
The end of the book provides a section on sword construction and blade pattern welding.
I can really see Swordsmiths referring to this range of books to create replica of these weapons.
This is truly a sword spotters book and if you are involved in re-enactment of the period, HEMA or a Swordsmith or collector, this is a great addition to your research collection, as I can see it very difficult to get around to seeing all of the swords in this book.
You can buy the book on Amazon.
Please note I was not paid to write this review but was sent a review copy of the book. All comments are my own and the publishers have not amended the review in any way.