Friday 3 August 2012

The History behind the "Vulture's Lair"

Many of the characters in the novel "Vulture's Lair" are based on real figures from Icelandic history of saga. For instance:

(Chapter 1, page 5:  The giant Islander grins; his white teeth flashing in his pitch-black beard, eagle eyes sparkle with pride and prowess ... * )
Skarphéðinn Njálsson a character in Njal’s Saga, a big and a strong warrior, confident and concise in speech; his white teeth flashing as he faced his adversaries. One of the Njal’s Saga most memorable descriptions is of Skarphéðinn sliding on the ice of Markarfljót river, killing his enemies with his axe Rimmugýgi.  

(Chapter 1, page 8: calls Mangi Steffensen, the Governor of Iceland. *)
Magnús Stephensen, (1836–1917) last Danish governor of Iceland serving 1886–1904. As a Danish official, Stephensen, was looked upon by many as a Danish ass-licker, but his comment sums up his contradictions that he felt like a louse between nail and a hammer: his countrymen and the Danes.

(Chapter 4, page 43: Has Krummi lost his shadow?  *)
Sæmundr “the learned” Sigfússon (1056–1133) was an Icelandic priest and scholar. He is believed to have studied at Black School in Paris. In Icelandic folklore, Sæmundr is a larger-than-life character who repeatedly tricked the Devil into doing his bidding. Sæmundr wrote on the history of Norwegian kings. The work is now lost but was used as a source by later authors, including Snorri Sturluson.

About the book
A gripping political thriller set a few years into the future when the EU has become a fully federal superstate. A political elite out of control. A lone man seeking the truth Murder, mayhem and intrigue leading to the Vulture's Lair Brussels. The highest ranking Icelandic official at the United States of Europe, Solman Smithson, hears the voice of his old friend Krummi, who is fighting off armed guards. Krummi and Solman grew up together in the Westman Islands but while Solman became a bureaucrat, Krummi went to sea as one of Iceland's last fishermen. The Vulture is looking down on its prey. The chance encounter takes place as the new president, Erich Devereux, is installed into power. But rumours circulate that corrupt votes put him in power. Murders and violent attacks on journalists and academics proliferate in an apparently unconnected way. And as momentum builds in Iceland for independence from the USE the tempo of violence and intrigue quickens. The Vulture moves toward its prey. Fate decrees that only the big fisherman from the Westman Islands stands in the way of the dark forces of chaos. But can a fisherman from Iceland work out what is really going on. And can he survive long enough to make a difference. The Vulture closes in.

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