Valdur the Viking and the Ghostly Goths by Craig Cormick

A review by Nalini Haynes

Valdur the Viking emerges from a pickle barrel after eating nearly all the pickles to discover all the Vikings on his father’s ship have disappeared. A few other kids emerge then they set off to save Valdur’s dad.

The Goths have captured the grown ups.

Goths, you say? They’re all ghosts, hence the co-existing on the high seas.

What follows is a rollicking kids’ adventure demonstrating a good father-son relationship, excellent for primary school aged boys.

There’s only one girl character and she’s the cook. Later she emerges as being slightly more useful but Valdur the Viking fails the Bechdel Test while making little effort to model equity and team work between genders.

I’m concerned about the co-existence of Vikings, Romans and Goths. The story explains that they lived at different times but I envisage a generation of young readers forgetting this inconvenient fact. However, if adults use Valdur the Viking as a launching pad for exploring history, this story could help reluctant readers and generate more interest in history.

Overall, Valdur the Viking is a fun adventure that entices reluctant readers and models a good father-son relationship.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars out of 5
ISBN: 9781925272420
Format: paperback, 115 pages
Imprint: Ford Street Publishing
Category: Historical fantasy
Age guide: 6-10
Valdur the Viking and the Ghostly Goths