A Viking Slave's Saga: Land of Wooden Gods, People of the Dawn, and Sacrificial Smoke, by Jan Fridegård, translated by Robert E. Bjork
A trilogy that centres on a ninth-century thrall named Holme, his wife, Ausi, and their daughter, Tora, and chronicles Holme's struggle against his Viking enemies, initially as a relatively helpless blacksmith slave.
It also relates the beginning of the clash, which becomes more and more violent as the trilogy proceeds, between paganism and Christianity in Sweden.
A missionary enters Holme’s world in the first novel, tries but gradually fails to convert the recalcitrant Swedes, and is finally offered as a bloody sacrifice to Odinn, Thor, and Freyr.
Other Christian missionaries, modelled on Ansgar, the archbishop of Hamburg, and his companion, Witmar, who conducted the first recorded mission to Sweden circa 830 A.D., arrive in the second novel, which likewise pits Holme and the slaves he represents against the freemen and Christians.
The last novel finishes the story of the increasingly oppressive and ruthless incursion of Christianity into the North and ends in predicable tragedy for the protagonists.
Fridegård, a master at creating atmosphere, sets the scene for his monumental work: a Viking village, with its log halls, stable, and sty; feuding families and human sacrifice; broadsailed dragon ships; and a port of pirates.