|A 6th century Swedish bronze plaque with |
Odin and a berserker wearing a wolfskin.
(Werner Forman/Universal Images Group/Getty Images)
|Viking Warriors Book 1|
A double 2016 RITA finalist
The Vikings try to calm their inner warriors through fights with Loki's creatures, by drawing on the energy that rise from humans on the dance floor of a nigh club, and even through sex. If a warrior's berserker takes control, they succumb to permanent battle fever and become a danger to themselves and their fellow battle brothers and sisters. When that happens, Odin has to call them back to Valhalla and entrance them into an endless slumber. The only thing that can calm a berserker once it is in full battle fever is a Viking's or Valkyrie's själsfrände, or soulmate.
|Viking Warriors Book 2|
An RT Book Reviews Top Pick!
The berserkers have long been thought to be only a myth, but historians and other scholars now think that there is plenty of proof that these elite warriors actually existed. In the book Germania, the Roman historian Tacitus describes amazing elite warriors in northern Europe. These fierce Norsemen worshiped Odin in a cult-like fashion and would enter the battle field howling like wolves, wearing bear and wolfskins. They operated in smaller independent groups that were widely sought after by kings and chieftains. However, they were difficult to control in formation warfare. Other historical records describe how Olav Haraldsson (St Olav) put berserkers on the front lines at the battle of Stiklestad in 1030, but instead of holding the line as ordered, the wild warriors attacked and thereby contributed to the king’s defeat.
So there you have it. The berserkers probably did exist, but you had to take the uncontrollable with the undefeatable if you wanted to hire them. Kind of like the immortal fighters in the Viking Warriors series, although their berserkers can be calmed by their själsfrändes which they all of course eventually meet. I write romance after all. ;-)
If you're interested in learning more about the berserkers, I recommend these two articles:
"The truth about Viking berserkers" BBC History Extra on Sep 9, 2016.
"Berserkergang" The Viking Answer Lady, last updated on Nov 11, 2016.
And if you are a fan of Viking romance, in addition to the Viking Warriors series, I highly recommend TALES OF THE VALKYRIES an anthology of short stories by myself, Gina Conkle, Harper St. George, Emma Prince, Anna Markland, and Lisa Hendrix. It's currently free across most e-retailers.