Advance Reviews (Flight of the Wren)


Comments from: The Valley View Readers Book Club                    June 26, 2015

Bowen Swersey’s book Flight of the Wren is one of the best books we have read this year. It is full of engaging characters, vivid battles and a great personal quest.

Swersey’s exhaustively researched tale provides an enlightening glimpse into Viking life in the 11th century.  Their courage, their love of sailing and battle as well as their intrigue and atrocities are laid out in vivid detail.

Flight of the Wren is a remarkable tale of love, courage, Viking heroes and villains, witches and magic.  Magic and mystery dot Swersey’s tale and capture the essence of forest life in a wild land.

In Hilja, a young Shaman from Lapland, Swersey has created a protagonist that grips your soul.  Her warmth, her intelligence, and her unerring sense of destiny keep you turning pages late into the night.


Bowen Swersey’s new novel, Flight of the Wren, shows him to be a masterful storyteller. He brings to life the experiences of the Norse people whose exploits help define the transition from the Dark Ages to the early Middle Ages in northwestern Europe, specifically during the early 11th century. He has taken the patchwork historical record and woven a credible tale of who these people were based on their various ways of life, their spiritual observances, and their connections to their traditional home territories. He has defined a dynamic context in which the Norse people were responding to threats from the Christian world centered in Rome, as well as to those created by internal conflicts between different factions within their Nordic lands.

In weaving his tapestry, Swersey draws together the fine threads formed by the lives of the very different individuals who represent these various factions. While the known historical record is shaped primarily by the exploits of the men in these populations, Swersey has developed strong and influential female protagonists to shape the story.

The novel is compellingly written from the first sentences to the last and easily draws the reader along and leaves us waiting for more.  I look forward to reading this book in published form and to reading the promised sequels.

Liz Sherblom, Author and Beta Reader


Flight of the Wren, a Finnish reader’s review:

An interesting girl meets boy/studies of power tale in vividly described historical sceneries.  It reminds me of George R. R. Martin, but with more open space for the reader to dwell in. With a vast variety of characters, the reader follows both a Finnish girl with natural gifts and Vikings fighting to keep their tradition.  As the cultures collide, the tales becomes even more interesting.     –Milla Koramo, beta reader