Valkyrie: The Women of the Viking World by Jh̤anna Katrn Friŗiksdt̤tir hit the shelves on 2nd April 2020. It has been published by Bloomsbury.
Valkyries: the female supernatural beings that choose who dies and who lives on the battlefield. They protect some but guide spears, arrows and sword blades into the bodies of others. Viking myths about valkyries attempt to elevate the banality of war – to make the pain and suffering, the lost limbs and deformities, the piles of lifeless bodies of young men, glorious and worthwhile. Rather than their death being futile, it is their destiny and good fortune, determined by divine beings. The women in these stories take full part in the power struggles and upheavals in their communities, for better or worse.
Drawing on the latest historical and archaeological evidence, Valkyrie introduces readers to the dramatic and fascinating texts recorded in medieval Iceland, a culture able to imagine women in all kinds of roles carrying power, not just in this world, but pulling the strings in the other-world, too. In the process, this fascinating book uncovers the reality behind the myths and legends to reveal the dynamic, diverse lives of Viking women.
About the author
Johanna Katrin Fridriksdottir currently works at the National Library of Norway in Oslo. She is currently contributing to a documentary by Ash Thayer entitled Viking Women: The Crying Bones. Her research focuses on Vikings, old Norse-Icelandic sagas, mythology and poetry, late medieval Iceland, medieval manuscripts and gender.