Freedom of the Waves

ISBN: 978-1-4669-0946-5 (soft cover) 'high seas adventure to rival Homer's Odyssey.' Kirkus Reviews

Freedom of the Waves

Nominated for Eric Hoffer Award for Books 

Trafford Gold Seal of Literary Excellence 2012

Awarded as a result of the review in US Review of Books.

'Fans of Norse mythology or those new to it will be delighted by the presence of deities and monsters from ancient times without feeling lost or overwhelmed. The author's pace and language is easy to understand for all readers, with more experienced readers hungrily devouring the texts and the younger audience enjoying every moment of the journey. Each story of the Trilogy leaves the reader ready to start the next immediately, and once the story has concluded, there is a strong resolution despite a chance for more adventures on the horizon. The Trilogy deserves a spot among the other beloved young and adult phantasy classics. RECOMMENDED.'  US Review of Books

The three stories (see Home Page and click on book titles for full details) are now brought together and published as an omnibus Trilogy. The events get ever more exciting as young boy and girl Viking rebels cross the North Sea to discover their destiny. Every obstacle is thrown in their way - a furious Sea God threatening to destroy their longboat and aggressive pirates determined to capture the girls. Enter Freya, Chieftain's daughter and possessor of mysterious powers. Foulbeard, Brute of the Waves, is no match for her. Asserting her God-like gifts Freya summons Iormungandr, Serpent of the World, from his undersea lair to send the pirates to a watery grave.  

' the heart of this epic voyage is an exciting story about bravery and the many forms it can take, including the choice not to fight.' Foreward Revues

The young Viking heroes and heroines are forced to escape their village. The boys refuse to be turned into warrior-killers. And the girls band together to save Saxon slave Emma from sacrifice. 'Peace not war' is their silent battle cry but there are many hazardous moments when the crew is tempted to find weapons and fight its way out. Landing on the foreign shores of Saxon England is a risky business. The Viking party is hardly likely to be welcomed with open arms. Unwanted immigration becomes an issue that has to be tackled and overcome.


'Mixing elements of Norse mythology, adventure, cheeky humour and magic, this page-turning read follows a band of Viking tweens as they try to escape a destiny of violence.' blueink REVUE

'The next few days are filled with a steady stream of demons, serpents, killer fogs, a poisoness purple haze and one angry sea god, all of which keep the pace scooting along and the suspense quotient up in the red zone.' Kirkus Reviews

Young readers love wildlife inspired by the extraordinary images on TV. The stories teem with creatures that in Viking/Saxon Times would have been common but owing to centuries of persecution are now severely threatened. A sperm whale mother and her calf are encountered in the North Sea as they make their stately way on migration. Friendly dolphins repay the crew a big favour and guide them through fog. And when Freya is in dire need of rescue, forest wolves are on hand to show her saviours secret paths not known to humans. The animal star is Beowolf an orphaned bear cub befriended by bold Eric Bignose. Because Eric upsets his Saxon hosts he is banished form his adopted village. Later in the story, when the Vikings all meet up again, Beowolf has become a very powerful and magical bear who performs the ultimate rescue act. This is when the crew is captured by alluring mermaids, the longboat having been dashed upon the rocks. Captured in a dark sea cavern, only Beowolf has the strength to bend the bars to freedom.

'A flashy adventure tale that's sure to make young readers laugh.' Kirkus Reviews

Murrough in a Barrel

Humour abounds. Vimp and Freya arrange a concert of Viking instruments in their village but they are booed off, accompanied by cow dung missiles. The awful Eggtooth the Unpleasant (Vimp's mother) cooks up horrible meals for her family of growing boys - toad's eye soup her gruesome speciality. In the final story the eccentric Murrough, of Gaelic myth, makes a welcome apearance. With his foolish fish head and puny arms and legs Murrough strikes out to escape his bossy mermaid wife. Caught by the crew in their fishing net, the Murrough (a gill breather) has to be kept in a barrel of sea water and fed his favourite sea weeds. Although at first tempted to eat him, Eric's bear cub makes a new friend and they combine at the end of the story to rescue the stricken crew.

'...the story becomes a high seas adventure to rival Homer's Odyssey. The gang encounters sea witches, hostile Norsemen, duelling giants and treacherous mermaids as every chapter brings a new adventure and a certain brush with death. Lush settings and exciting adventures make for a read kids will love.' Kirkus Reviews


The essence of the developing adventure is that young readers may come to appreciate what living at the times of Saxons and Viings must have been like. The characters are everyday and real in the sense that they possess human strengths and weaknesses. But whilst they have to cope with highly questionable attitudes of their parents and forbears they are faced with pressures brought by the imaginative fantasy of the time - Viking Gods, myths, monsters and legends. Much of this would have been very real to the inhabitants. And there is also real History. The Viking raids on Saxon coasts presented massive problems for the natives except they, in their turn, had been successful invaders and settlers. In the second story, the chronicled AD 793 raid on the Benedictine Monastery on Lindisfarne Island, off the Northumbrian coast, is described in vivid detail.

The Black Shuck

'Familiarity with Norse mythology or Saxon culture is unnecessary, due to Ward's gift for lively exposition.' Kirkus Reviews

The Black Shuck, a dreadful creature of Saxon legend and the source of Conan-Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles, makes an unwelome appearance. Likewise, the rock-tossing Scottish giants of Gaelic origin who have battled for centuries on opposing cliff-tops. All these and much more have to be faced by a desperate and naive Viking crew.



'Peter L Ward has the makings of a great story here, and Steve Crisp's illustrations nicely complement Ward's book, bringing some of the characters and battles vividly to life.' Foreward Revues

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