Book Review: Pacific Viking by Barnaby Allen

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Book: Pacific Viking

Author: Barnaby Allen

Published: 2018, e-book 2017 (BoD)

Publisher: Independently published via Amazon

Pages: 662

”Na Vokai watches and waits; and waits, all that afternoon drenched, unblinking but shivering, as storms of warm rain send glassy bullets, furious, off the Pacific reefs, exploding above him, and below, where finding their mark, form ruddy in the sodden carnage that now fills his gaze. Behind a sweating, malachite screen he sits, imperious, unmoved either by the pummelling from above or the hideousness below his perch. Raindrops, not insignificant like those of northern lands he has never known, batter at immense leaves and tear at his hide, intent, on his demise. Na Vokai though can wait, and wait, languid, knowing this rain too and the bloody carnival below will, by sunset, pass into another day. He knows it well. This is the way of life.”

Pacific Viking is an epic historical fiction in which Barnaby Allen dramatizes the story of Charlie Savage. Charlie Savage became of interest to Barnaby Allen, when he was a child in Colonial Fiji and worked on a school project concerned with Charlie Savage. With effort and delight in his work, he investigated the story further in recent years, and used historical sources faithfully to develop the story in Pacific Viking. Barnaby Allen’s wide knowledge of English, literature, history, church history, theology, music, humor, Pacific Affairs and his extended travels provided him with a strong base on which to create this powerful story.

Charlie Savage died in Fiji on the 6th of September 1813.  That is 205 years ago today. Who was this legend? How did a white man become an esteemed warrior and a revered member of tribal royalty? Why did he attempt to live in and with a culture that was not his own? What did he have to sacrifice? The reader will journey with and within the protagonist as he makes his way from Sweden to Fiji.


I love this book. I am biased. It is a book though, that I have read several times. The words speak to me. This is the voice I carry, an unsolited promise I made to Barnaby, when he was no longer able to carry his own voice. I encouraged him to write and he chose Charlie, and so I witnessed the book being born. There were many discussions over the book. He bounced ideas off me and I also read to give feed back. Some things were added through my visiting a relevant museum and some things were included  because I asked for them – like the women singing while fishing communally. In many ways there were also things, that I found hard to deal with but nevertheless had to accept them as part of the book.

Pacific Viking is a demanding book. Pacific Viking is rewarding book. It is certainly a different book. If you are looking for fast action or romantic engagement parties, this is not a book for you. The reader of Pacific Viking needs to love words and descriptions, welcome different worlds, appreciate culture and thought, and he/she needs to be able to deal with man’s and cultures’ darker sides. Slow, savoring reading was how I liked Pacific Viking the best.  This is also how I was able to better understand the strong messages Pacific Viking brings to the reader’s attention.

Stars: 5/5

ISBN: 9781980522317     paperback 

Published TODAY as an e-book   






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