Ilya Boyashov. Konung

Author: Ilya Boyashov
Title: Konung

Year: 2008


Norwegian Vikings are powerful. They are mighty and beautiful. They are attractive and scary. Successful earl Olaf, ruling a prosperous settlement, is happy to have a son Ryurik. The boy is the best in fighting, hunting, and writing poems, and is eager to be the first everywhere, not looking at the others. It is clear for everybody – he will become another strong ruler and, who knows, maybe will capture the whole Norway as every Norwegian earl is dreaming to do. Being absolutely self-assured Ryurik accepts a wager from an old ship builder who bets that Ryurik will fail to climb the holy Bjork mountain where the gods live. Having taken his best sword Ryurik goes to the hill, but has to escape from there, horror-stricken. He continues his attempts, taking still better arms and spells with him. But the result is the same. And Ryurik changes. He becomes pensive and offish, trying to understand some new truth about freedom and power. And this defining moment is crucial not only for Ryurik, not only for Norway, but maybe for the whole World culture. As Ryurik gradually understands, pure strength is powerless, when it comes to the most important things.
Strange it is, but the Russian state was conceived when the unorganized Slavonic tribes “invited” some noble Norseman to rule them. According to the chronicles his name was Ryurik. In the novel Konung, the author masterfully reconstructs the events preceding the act of “invitation” and thus explains how this could be possible – of course he suggests his own version. Being an expert in Scandinavian history, Boyashov creates a captivating and convincing canvas, which seems to be absolutely authentic, while still being no less entertaining.