The Ship in the Woods

Fact: Swedish Vikings conquered Russia and founded Ukraine. This historical novel tells that story, but it also tells the story of the Swedish archeologists who raised the gunship "Vasa" during the Cold War of the 1960s.

The book alternates chapters between the two timelines a thousand years apart. Actual artifacts discovered in modern times are brought to life in  the chapters set in the Viking Age.

The Swedish Vikings who founded Russia named the realm after their leader, Rurik. After sailing their ships on rivers to the Black Sea, they besieged the fabled Byzantine capital of Constantinople.

A thousand years later archeologists discovered the graves of some of those warriors, including a powerful woman whose remains were long misidentified as male. Who was she? What role did she play in the Vikings' Russian empire? 

Although the novel's plots stand on their own, this is the third in Sullivan's series of historical novels about the Viking Age and archeology. Some of the characters and situations develop  throughout the series, starting with The Ship in the Hill (set in Norway) and The Ship in the Sand (set in Denmark). The final book of the series, "The Ship in the Ice" (set in Iceland and America), will be published in 2026. 

By William L. Sullivan. Illustrated by Karen Sorensen Sullivan. 362 pages, 5-1/2"x8-1/2", 3 maps, 60 pen-and-ink drawings

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