Your modern-day Viking is a woman with fetal alcohol syndrome using her strict code to create the stuff of legends.
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Why I love it
Author, The Reckless Oath We Made
As a reader, I'm always looking for the same things that attract me as a writer. I love stories that are outside the mainstream, about people who, in other books, might be relegated to sidekicks or one-dimensional sources of inspiration. When We Were Vikings hit that sweet spot for me.
Zelda is an older teenager on the fetal alcohol spectrum, but she is nobody's disability inspiration. She sees herself as a modern-day Viking with a sacred duty to protect her family, even though her sword is a letter opener, and her family is basically just herself and an older brother with a messy past and a messier present. As part of her plan to become a Viking legend, she's starting her first real job, and trying to go all the way with her boyfriend Marxy. But this isn’t all life has set in store for Zelda…
From the first page of When We Were Vikings, I knew Zelda was my people. Because of her disability, there are those who want to control her, but she has her own ideas about how to live her life. Not all of those ideas work out, but that doesn't stop Zelda from striving for independence. She may not be a great warrior, but Zelda's real strength is loving people. And that—even when it's hard, even when people let you down or break your heart—that's legendary.
Sometimes life isn’t as simple as heroes and villains.
For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules:
1. A smile means “thank you for doing something small that I liked.”
2. Fist bumps and dabs = respect.
3. Strange people are not appreciated in her home.
4. Tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet.
5. Sometimes the most important things don’t fit on lists.
But when Zelda finds out that Gert has resorted to some questionable—and dangerous—methods to make enough money to keep them afloat, Zelda decides to launch her own quest. Her mission: to be legendary. It isn’t long before Zelda finds herself in a battle that tests the reach of her heroism, her love for her brother, and the depth of her Viking strength.