Linnea Hartsuyker, "The Half-Drowned King" (Harper, 2017)


Ragnvald Eysteinsson is returning from years raiding in Ireland under the leadership of Solvi and focused on winning a contest with his fellow sailors when Solvi attacks. Ragnvald falls into the fjord and is given up for dead. But a fisherman pulls him out, and when Ragnvald recovers enough from his wounds and near-drowning to reach his home in southern Norway, he learns that his own stepfather paid Solvi to ensure that Ragnvald would never survive to reclaim the lands left him by his father. Cut off from home and family, denied the bride he was promised, Ragnvald sets out to recoup his fortunes and avenge his wrongs by swearing service for a year to Hakon, lord of a neighboring kingdom. Meanwhile, Ragnvald's sister has her own issues with their stepfather--most notably, his plans to marry her off to a rich elderly neighbor. A handsome young seafarer catches her eye. Unfortunately for them both, the seafarer is Solvi... In The Half-Drowned King (Harper, 2017),the first book in a trilogy, Linnea Hartsuyker provides a richly detailed and captivating portrait of three young people whose hearts war with their loyalties in the turbulent period leading up to the establishment of the first united Norwegian kingdom.
C. P. Lesley is the author of six novels, including Legends of the Five Directions (The Golden Lynx, The Winged Horse, and The Swan Princess), a historical fiction series set in 1530s Russia, during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible. Find out more about her at

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C. P. Lesley

C. P. Lesley is the author of two historical fiction series set during the childhood of Ivan the Terrible and four other novels. Her latest book, The Merchant's Tale, co-written with P.K. Adams, appeared in November 2023.

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