Eric and the Mystical Bear

The Final Adventure ISBN 978-1-4269-5501-3

Eric and the Mystical Bear
The Trilogy is complete. Bold Eric takes centre stage. He has always been the outspoken, undefeatable character, admired by his friends. But Eric has a softer side as gentle Astrid knows. By accident, Eric confronts the Saxon's mythological nightmare, the Black Shuck. The black demon dog brings a curse upon the young Vikings' adopted Saxon village. Only a Wizard, deep in the forest, can lift the curse. But he fails and the Black Shuck strikes at the terrified community. Eric is banished along with Beowulf, his adopted bear cub. Not that Eric knows it, but the cub will save his life and those of his friends when they finally catch up with him. The adventures are hair-raising...great whales at sea, an evil sea witch, rock-tossing giants and finally...capture by singing mermaids. The young Viking adventurers' luck runs out. But has it? Enter the Murrough, a Scottish mythical beast half-man, half-fish. The spindly Murrough, together with Beowulf's power, comes to the rescue. Landing in Orkney, have our heroes finally found a safe haven? Read on. It's quite an ending!

Hugi and Thialfi

In Freya and the Fenris-Wolf, the young heroine is rescued from an awful fate by the great wolf, Agnar, and his younger brothers, Hugi and Thialfi. Once again, it's wolves to the rescue as the brave dogs of the forest risk their lives to save their friends. Banned from Saxon England, the Viking boys and girls go back home. But there is no warm welcome. Their old village has been raided by marauding Norsemen with their parents taken captive. Our heroes have no knowledge of this as they make their way back. Tharg and Freya are captured by the raiders and held for interrogation. Making a diversionary raid on the village livestock, Hugi and Thialfi release the prisoners and guide them back through the forest to their longboat.

Whales ahead!

The voyage from Anglo-Saxon England, returning to the Viking homeland, begins well. The wind is set fair, granting the young rowers a well-earned break. Suddenly...up ahead...a huge object crossing the bows. And a second...smaller and less threatening. A mother sperm whale and her baby. Placing herself between the longboat and her child, the great sea mammal swims on. The Vikings are enchanted. Wildlife themes run throughout the Trilogy...wolves, brown bears, seals, sea eagles, beavers...and now, the whales. All these have been persecuted by humans so that, in our time, their numbers have dwindled miserably low. In Viking times, they would have been higher but all peoples of the day viewed these fine beasts as  enemies, or as opportunities to profit from their flesh, oil or furs.

Each of the three stories includes moments for the young reader to ponder the awful plunder of so many fine European land and sea creatures.

Morag's Song

'Sweery, sweery, linkum-loo. Do to them as I would do!'

The longboat battles a mighty storm before heading West out of the North Sea. The sailors attempt to navigate round the fierce Scottish coast where the currents, rocks and islands are so treacherous. Worst of all are the legendary whirlpools. As the tides race against each other, sea witch Morag appears in her turbulent whirlpool and beckons the young Vikings to join her. But it's the little half-fish, half-man Murrough who knows what to do. 'Toss her our finest possessions!' Whilst Morag grasps her new found wealth with her sea net, the Viking crew sails on. One more escape...and there are giants to come!

Reviews

'the story beomes a high seas adventure to rival Homer's Odyssey...both the novel and the Trilogy come to a satisfying and complete conclusion, sure to captivate any child with an interest in mythology. Lush settings and exciting adventures make for a read kids willl love.' Kirkus Reviews 2012

'The undersea escape itself is a thriller with unexpected twists...Ward is to be commended for creating a series that has improved with each volume, one built round a strong moral center...the book serves as a golden-rule message for young people to absorb.' ForeWord Reviews 2012

 
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