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Pacific Viking: An Epic Historical Fiction

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History is the tragedy of challenging omnipotence. A few remarkable people are destined to glide, to dip, but then soar again into the sphere of worldly memory. Some become gods. Others however, achieve a kind of greatness but lack the celebrity; history has looked the other way. Their deeds pass, forgotten in a generation; the name slips. It is good to tell of such and to History is the tragedy of challenging omnipotence. A few remarkable people are destined to glide, to dip, but then soar again into the sphere of worldly memory. Some become gods. Others however, achieve a kind of greatness but lack the celebrity; history has looked the other way. Their deeds pass, forgotten in a generation; the name slips. It is good to tell of such and to picture one who imagined and risked all; who freed himself to overcome omnipotence, and paid the price with ignominy. This book shares the story of a man, Charles Savage, whom the world has forgotten, but who commands our attention and recognition two hundred years on. His theater was Sweden, Australia and the South Pacific Islands. This is the writer's first book, a historical epic.


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History is the tragedy of challenging omnipotence. A few remarkable people are destined to glide, to dip, but then soar again into the sphere of worldly memory. Some become gods. Others however, achieve a kind of greatness but lack the celebrity; history has looked the other way. Their deeds pass, forgotten in a generation; the name slips. It is good to tell of such and to History is the tragedy of challenging omnipotence. A few remarkable people are destined to glide, to dip, but then soar again into the sphere of worldly memory. Some become gods. Others however, achieve a kind of greatness but lack the celebrity; history has looked the other way. Their deeds pass, forgotten in a generation; the name slips. It is good to tell of such and to picture one who imagined and risked all; who freed himself to overcome omnipotence, and paid the price with ignominy. This book shares the story of a man, Charles Savage, whom the world has forgotten, but who commands our attention and recognition two hundred years on. His theater was Sweden, Australia and the South Pacific Islands. This is the writer's first book, a historical epic.

32 review for Pacific Viking: An Epic Historical Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Birgitta Hjalmarson

    This is a horrible, beautiful book. Horrible, because it forces the reader to confront the worst of human nature, that which surfaces when the layer of “civilization” breaks. Beautiful, because much of it is set on the Fiji Islands, a landscape indifferent to the horrors of man. Who was Charlie Savage? In Pacific Viking, he was born in Sweden but left at an early age. Around the time of the Napoleonic wars, he became an island chief, adopting the customs of his tribe, raping slave girls and This is a horrible, beautiful book. Horrible, because it forces the reader to confront the worst of human nature, that which surfaces when the layer of “civilization” breaks. Beautiful, because much of it is set on the Fiji Islands, a landscape indifferent to the horrors of man. Who was Charlie Savage? In Pacific Viking, he was born in Sweden but left at an early age. Around the time of the Napoleonic wars, he became an island chief, adopting the customs of his tribe, raping slave girls and feasting on human flesh. His death came at the hands of another tribe, his body bloodied, “his mouth open in shock, though not, as best as can be judged, in fear.” It takes courage to write a book. Any kind of book. But I think it takes even more courage to write a book like this. Barnaby Allen doesn't rush, he won’t allow the reader to look the other way. He writes as if he has all the time in the world. As it turns out, he did not. I was saddened to learn that he has died. I can only imagine what else he might have written, had he been allowed to live on.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hal Len

    ”Na Vokai watches and waits; and waits, all that afternoon drenched, unblinking but shivering, as storms of warm rain send glassy bullets, furious, off the Pacific reefs, exploding above him, and below, where finding their mark, form ruddy in the sodden carnage that now fills his gaze. Behind a sweating, malachite screen he sits, imperious, unmoved either by the pummelling from above or the hideousness below his perch. Raindrops, not insignificant like those of northern lands he has never known, ”Na Vokai watches and waits; and waits, all that afternoon drenched, unblinking but shivering, as storms of warm rain send glassy bullets, furious, off the Pacific reefs, exploding above him, and below, where finding their mark, form ruddy in the sodden carnage that now fills his gaze. Behind a sweating, malachite screen he sits, imperious, unmoved either by the pummelling from above or the hideousness below his perch. Raindrops, not insignificant like those of northern lands he has never known, batter at immense leaves and tear at his hide, intent, on his demise. Na Vokai though can wait, and wait, languid, knowing this rain too and the bloody carnival below will, by sunset, pass into another day. He knows it well. This is the way of life.” Pacific Viking is an epic historical fiction in which Barnaby Allen dramatizes the story of Charlie Savage. Charlie Savage became of interest to Barnaby Allen, when he was a child in Colonial Fiji and worked on a school project concerned with Charlie Savage. With effort and delight in his work, he investigated the story further in recent years, and used historical sources faithfully to develop the story in Pacific Viking. Barnaby Allen’s wide knowledge of English, literature, history, church history, theology, music, humor, Pacific Affairs and his extended travels provided him with a strong base on which to create this powerful story. Charlie Savage died in Fiji on the 6th of September 1813. That is 205 years ago today. Who was this legend? How did a white man become an esteemed warrior and a revered member of tribal royalty? Why did he attempt to live in and with a culture that was not his own? What did he have to sacrifice? The reader will journey with and within the protagonist as he makes his way from Sweden to Fiji. IMG_1531 I love this book. I am biased. It is a book though, that I have read several times. The words speak to me. This is the voice I carry, an unsolited promise I made to Barnaby, when he was no longer able to carry his own voice. I encouraged him to write and he chose Charlie, and so I witnessed the book being born. There were many discussions over the book. He bounced ideas off me and I also read to give feed back. Some things were added through my visiting a relevant museum and some things were included because I asked for them – like the women singing while fishing communally. In many ways there were also things, that I found hard to deal with but nevertheless had to accept them as part of the book. Pacific Viking is a demanding book. Pacific Viking is rewarding book. It is certainly a different book. If you are looking for fast action or romantic engagement parties, this is not a book for you. The reader of Pacific Viking needs to love words and descriptions, welcome different worlds, appreciate culture and thought, and he/she needs to be able to deal with man’s and cultures’ darker sides. Slow, savoring reading was how I liked Pacific Viking the best. This is also how I was able to better understand the strong messages Pacific Viking brings to the reader’s attention. Stars: 5/5

  3. 4 out of 5

    Terralyn Brown Barfield

    2 Stars (for first 14 chapters, page 170 out of 652) * My thoughts: 1. I can’t figure out what genre this book wants to be...... 2. Much of it is lyrical with good atmospheric description and verbiage appropriate to the era. This is punctuated with a vivid rape scene, and a bit later, another scene, (both appropriate to the story but) shockingly explicit when spliced into the ongoing narrative style. Mixed in is pretty good action, but again seemingly in a contrasting style. Maybe the intent was 2 Stars ✨ (for first 14 chapters, page 170 out of 652) * My thoughts: 1. I can’t figure out what genre this book wants to be...... 2. Much of it is lyrical with good atmospheric description and verbiage appropriate to the era. This is punctuated with a vivid rape scene, and a bit later, another scene, (both appropriate to the story but) shockingly explicit when spliced into the ongoing narrative style. Mixed in is pretty good action, but again seemingly in a contrasting style. Maybe the intent was to present a culture or cultures (which is presented well) while weaving a coming of age story. 3. I haven’t been able to connect with any of the characters and so far, the protagonist is mainly known by his sexual experiences and a smidge of an affinity for Viking battle-joy. This isn’t enough for me to want to wade through endless pages of description punctuated by more sexual exploits that I suspect are in the offing. 4. I guess I was expecting something else.... maybe Bernard Cornwell. I’m bored. I have many more books 📚 waiting, so off I go. * My rating is just as an avid reader with no instruction in writing critique. My rating only reflects my enjoyment of the experience, whether educational, emotional or pure escape.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David Boyer

  5. 5 out of 5

    IaininNewcastle

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joseph-Daniel Peter Paul Abondius

  7. 5 out of 5

    Elisa

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jane

  9. 4 out of 5

    Darla Eason

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tasha Fontaine

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kristie Rust

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sara Rumph

  13. 5 out of 5

    BookHound 🐾

  14. 4 out of 5

    Steph

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karen Schmitt

  16. 4 out of 5

    Hanna Scanlon

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Cole

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bekah Porter-Sandy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kara Klos

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lu

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barbara J. Klitch

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rendy Shields

  23. 4 out of 5

    Callie Keyser

  24. 5 out of 5

    Linda Zenkert

  25. 5 out of 5

    Robin

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  27. 4 out of 5

    Beth Pieprzica

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maegan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Traci

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  31. 4 out of 5

    Jana

  32. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

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