I have just finished reading the first two books in Judson Roberts' Strongbow Saga, Viking Warrior and Dragons from the Sea.
Judson obviously has an extensive knowledge of ninth-century Viking history. He hosts the site www.strongbowsaga.com where you can find more info about the Vikings and their world. He was (is?) an attorney and special agent.
Being a bit of a history freak and having a oral family history that claims one branch of my mother's family descend from Vikings, I've read and own a number of Viking histories. Armed with this knowledge I have to say I was seriously impressed with the quality of Judson's work.
I felt as if I had been sucked back in time and was truly experiencing the Viking world.
Often in movies and stories Vikings are portrayed as mindless beasts that only live to harass and murder the innocent. This always annoys me. That didn't happen here.
Judson portrays the uniqueness of the Viking culture, the faith, the traditions - and the violence - with insight, sensitivity and honesty.
His story is compelling and exciting, lingering in your mind and teasing your thoughts when you aren't reading it and urging you to pick it up again to find out what will happen next. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
Halfdan is the son of a captured Irish princess enslaved by a Viking chieftain. A slave his entire life, Halfdan suddenly finds himself freed, the acknowledged son of a chief, thanks to his mother's grim sacrifice. But freedom is not everything he dreamed of. It brings its own troubles and heartache ...
So, if you are looking for some solid historical YA for boys (and girls who like a bit of adventure) I highly recommend Judson's Strongbow Saga.