Monday, September 20, 2010

Raiders from the Sea

 Raiders from the Sea by Lois Walfrid Johnson

This is the first book in a series that, as far as I know, is virtually unknown. Most people I've met have never read or even heard of the books. Right here off the top though, I'm going to recommend these to y'all heartily. There is NOTHING inappropriate in them, nothing to even raise concern. They have adventure, danger, noble characters, storylines that keep you reading and reading and reading, and the outcome of the series, though *slightly* predictable is, at the same time, rather unexpected.

So, to start with this first review:

Briana O'Toole is the daughter of an Irish chieftan. Her life is sheltered and safe. She has a strong father, a loving family, the comfort of God's love (her faith) and a brother who will do anything for her. There's only one thing that hangs over the family as a constant threat: an attack from Vikings. Just a few short years before, Viking raiders stormed the little village and carried off Bree's younger sister, Keely. After that, some of the security that Bree felt at home disappeared.

The story really begins on Bree's thirteenth birthday. That morning, as she stood on the shore watching the sunrise, she saw a boy about to dive in the water where she knew it was dangerous. Thinking the boy was her friend Tully, she called out to him. To her horror, as he turns around, he falls into the water and hits his head. Immediately, Bree dives in herself to save him. Struggling in the current, she manages to get him to shore. It's then that she realizes that this boy is NOT Tully, but a stranger. When he comes to, he speaks with a strange accent and says his name is Mikkel (pronounce "Mick-el" rather than "Mee-haul", which is the Irish way). When Bree tells him to wait while she runs to get her brother Devin, he seems exhausted. But when Bree returns with Dev, he's gone.

So begins the five book saga of Briana O'Toole and her adventures as a Viking slave. Yes, I might as well tell you, since you'll find out soon enough in the later reviews :) Turns out, Mikkel is the son of a Viking chieftan, and, against his father's will, conducts his first raid on the village of Glendaloch (where Bree lives). Briana is captured and.....well, I won't tell you *everything*.

If you can, I would highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of this book (and the others) and read them as soon as you can, that way you'll be able to follow the reviews better.

I'm going to do the ratings a little differently on this series as well, expositing them a bit more:

Jo's Ratings:

Strength of Characters: *****

  • Briana is very believable. I have to say, in some Christian book series (think Elsie Dinsmore) the characters are SO good (or SO bad, think Lulu Raymond) that you can't take them seriously and you don't even really want to finish the story. Not so here :)
  • Devin sounds like a fantastic older brother to have :) His faith is strong, he's constantly encouraging Bree ("Courage to win!") and keeps an eye out for her, since Bree can be a bit of a handful. He also handles the other children in the family (Adam, Cara and Jen) with great maturity.
  • Mikkel....young, fourteen, but very strong. I like the parts when his softer, younger side comes through ("How many graves are in your family's cemetery?") but I do appreciate his strength. A character that has great potential for the rest of the series :)
Strength of Plot: ****
  • This is *not* my favorite of the Viking Quest books. It's a great start to the series, but it is a leetle slow in place (not many, but a few). But after all, you need background for the rest of the books ot makes sense. Just keep that in mind :)
Overall Rating: *****


  1. Sounds good! I'll have to look them up!

  2. I really love that series! My eight-year-old sister reads them, but I still love them. I've probably read that series three times....


  3. Sounds like great books! I will try and get them.

  4. Oh, yeah, I liked this when I read it!

  5. I've never read these before, but they sound SO good! Ironically enough, I originally intended to write a story about an Irish girl... named Briana (even spelled like that!). But, I ended up making her English, and naming her Violet Bradshaw, and adding in the Titanic element, and well... you know the rest. :) But if you were to read my early draft about Briana, you would find a lot of similarities between the two--just like Violet, Briana is not content living in America "far from her homeland." Although Briana was a bit more sullen and rather whiny about it. :) But I still loved that Irish element, which is why I added a few Irish characters into "Peril on the Sea."

    Anyway... to make a long story short, I would love to read this book! The plot sounds really interesting. :)

    Love you!

    Elizabeth Rose