Blomqvist’s story, in this eponymous novel by Michael Hickins, is told by his beloved cowardly bard Axel Oxensteirna. Axel swore his fealty to Blomqvist after the hero savagely murdered Axel’s parents.
For letting him live, Axel promised his allegiance to Blomqvist. This included his love and adoration. The same situation had happened to Blomqvist in his youth when his parents were killed.
However, there is a huge difference between the two men. Blomqvist the Black is known for being a warrior who is massive in stature, yet still quite agile. He is renowned for both his prowess on the battlefield and with women. Axel is far more ordinary in stature and abilities.
Set during the 11th century, when there were many battles among the Christians, Muslims and Pagans, Blomqvist holds no religious beliefs. He has difficulty understanding the concept of Christianity, because while the religion worships Christ, a man of peace, Christians are engaging in battles that involve killing others for the sake of Christianity. He forms alliances where he can best be served.
The love of his life is his betrothed Alix. Alix is the only woman who has managed to hang on to Blomqvist’s interest in spite of the numerous children that he has had with other women.
To ensure Blomqvist’s support and prevent him from backing out of a pledge, Alix is taken hostage and taken far away from him.
In a rage, Blomqvist leaves in search of her. Along the way, as he journeys across foreign lands, losing many friends in battle. His loyal Axel continues to remain at his side, even during times of capture. In his desire to have Alix returned to him, Blomqvist forfeits offers of great riches.
Blomqvist is an incredibly well-written historical fiction. The story is told in such vivid detail that there were times that I felt I might have been watching a movie instead of reading words typed on paper. The battles are bloody, which would be expected for the times, and well described. Alex’s devotion to Blomqvist is admirable, and Blomqvist’s love for Alix is timeless. I truly look forward to reading the next story in their journey.