5 star reviews are all very well but what makes a good book a very good book?
I have read, studied, taught and written about a wide range of fiction in my life. There is, however, only one criterion that makes a good book a very good book in my opinion – that it is memorable.
Memorable because it has a brilliant plot, or an important or fascinating theme, that it has convincing characters you care for and fear for, and/or that it is beautifully written. There are other criteria of course, but whatever they are, and regardless of genre, the ultimate effect is that the book stays with you.
As the years go by one may forget a character’s name or even (shamefully) the author’s name, but the effect of the novel remains; that reading it was a joy. Perhaps, initially, you struggled with the early chapters, then the story touched your heart. Whichever, the experience of reading this particular book and how it affected you has made it quite simply memorable.
So it is with the books I’m recommending for The best factual fantasy books for coming-of-age Viking stories (shepherd.com)
As I was recently visiting family in northern Sweden, and I’m currently working on the next book in The Doomsong Sword series, I created a list of Norse fact and fantasy that has influenced me. Some titles I’m sure you know, but there are also new books here that are well worth the reading for different reasons.