Meet Martin Aas - Selected Title Author

We are happy to present our selected title author Martin Aas. He has written The Coolest Stuff from the Viking Age (original title: Det kuleste fra vikingtiden). The book is one of NORLA’s Selected Titles of the spring 2023.

Read our interview with Martin here.

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Martin Aas. Photo: Adrian Nielsen/NORLA

What inspired you to write this book?

When I moved to the Viking capital Trondheim for college, I realized how little I actually knew about what my own country was like a thousand years ago. I lived on Olav Tryggvason Street for seven years without having any clue as to who he was. Granted, the 18-meter-tall statue of him in the main square told me he was something of a “big deal”.

In an attempt to learn more, I reluctantly picked up the 4.5-kilogram brick Heimskringla, written by the Icelandic skald poet Snorre Sturlason in the 1200s.

Hidden beneath way too many words written in the tiniest font possible, I was pleased to discover personal dramas, spectacular war maneuvers, mind-blowing pirate stories, and a surprising amount of humor. Wouldn’t it be great if these super cool stories were more accessible?

The academic literature on the topic suffered from much of the same; it was exciting and educational but full of difficult words and very few maps and drawings. Something needed to be done here. It was then that I decided to create the history book I wished existed.

What sets this book apart from other books in the same genre and/or with similar themes?

The Viking Age has already been the subject of hundreds of books, but most of them are dense with text and difficult words, and have few illustrations. That’s why I created the opposite: an easy-to-read fact book that’s chock-full of illustrations, maps, and comic strips.

The goal of The Coolest Stuff from the Viking Age is to make the most interesting part of Norway’s history accessible to as many people as possible. If you get disheartened by books with tons of text and difficult words or have gotten the (wrong) impression that history is a boring subject, then this is the book for you.

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Photo: Adrian Nielsen/NORLA

Read more

See full presentation of the book here
See all NORLA’s Selected Titles for the spring 2023 here