Several years ago, while attending a convention in Birmingham, Alabama, I met author R. R. Hunsinger through friends (and fellow authors), M. B. Weston and R. D. Stevens. We later friended each other on Facebook and that was that. Recently, I struck up a conversation with him over the film The Maltese Falcon and we've been talking ever since. During our time of getting reacquainted, I decided to read one of his tales involving his Viking character, Erlik Rowenson, also known as Black Erlik and "Kinslayer". I quickly admitted to him that I knew nothing about Vikings and so dove in with only his words to guide me.
I think the proper word for what I did was DEVOUR.
As of now, I have read three of the Erlik stories and I have already pestered him about any upcoming works involving the Viking. As I love to say: these stories do not disappoint at all. I confess that I did not read them in "order", yet the impact is no less. These are damn good stories that will make you want to read more about the Vikings and the world they inhabited. Hunsinger's writing makes you want to learn.
Weregild, the first one I read, is a telling of WHY Erlik is known as the "Kinslayer". This fast paced story is filled with oaths created and broken, honour defended, and much action and spilled blood. Weregild is set ten years before Tides of Fate, yet like I said before, the "reading order" is not really that crucial. Tides of Fate, the second one I read, tells of Erlik's encounter with a beautiful woman who proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to beware of things that are from the deep. Death Head, the third story, is of Erlik and his friend, Palladius Mauricius Veratius, a Byzantine nobleman, facing an ancient and deadly evil that has struck fear into the hearts of simple folk.
Although my descriptions of the stories are quite short, I'm really trying very hard not to tell the entire plots - these stories are worth the Kindle download. After reading one, you might as well download the rest of them. Trust me. It would really not surprise me if Hunsinger admitted to being a modern Viking; he obviously knows a plethora about them and it shows well in his stories without being overly done or "data dumping". Hunsinger is the real deal as a Norse storyteller and I eagerly await more stories from him. In fact, I've had the pleasure of reading other pieces that will hopefully be published soon and they were just as good. (The one about the "game" was simply amazing and chilling - ask him about THAT one!) They fit well into Erlik's universe, expanding and enriching it all the while.
To keep up with Hunsinger in social media, look him up at rhunsinger.wordpress.com and his blog at rrhunsinger.blogspot.com. He is also on Twitter as @RRHusinger. You can also follow Four Fools Press, the "home" of Erlik and other great stories, at http://www.fourfoolspress.com/.