This historical fiction book is the fifth in the "Viking Quest" series by Lois Walfrid Johnson and is published by Moody Publishers.
The Raider's Promise is written for kids ages 10 to 14. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
As Bree, Devin, Mikkel and Leif explore a new land, Mikkel is excited about starting a new chapter in his life. Under Leif and Devin's examples and teachings, Mikkel's Christian life continues to grow. Mikkel shows signs of being a good and just leader like his father when he helps to decide Hammer's punishment for attempted murder. As Devin sees Mikkel's feelings for Bree grow, he feels the need to warn him off. Devin wants Bree to have a chance to marry an Irishman not a Norseman. Mikkel promises to keep his distance, but still keeps an eye on Bree because he knows the kind of trouble she can get into. As the group returns to Greenland after their great adventure, Mikkel immediately prepares to take Devin and Bree to Ireland as he has promised. Much to their amazement, Mikkel plans not only to pay back what he has taken, but also to make full restitution. Devin and Bree are thrilled to see the change that God has worked in Mikkel's life.
The story mainly focuses on how to walk the Christian faith. Mikkel has become a Christian but needs to figure out how to live the daily life of a Christian. Devin and Bree have been Christians for a long time, but they also need to live their lives in a way that is honoring to God. Because Devin and Bree have chosen to continually forgive Mikkel, they are able to form a strong friendship with him. As God changes Mikkel, Mikkel is surprised at how his former goals hold no allure for him. Another theme that runs through the book is forgiveness. Mikkel is surprised by the forgiveness readily given to him by Brother Cronan, Bjorn and the O'Toole family.
Leif has authority over Mikkel, Devin and Bree during the voyage. Leif is a kind, just, Christian leader, who mentors Mikkel before and during the voyage. Brother Cronan, Bjorn, Aiden O'Toole and Mam O'Toole are in authority over Mikkel when he travels to Ireland. They show compassion and mercy toward the person who has changed their lives forever. Mikkel also submits to Aiden and Mam's authority when he wishes to marry Bree.
Other Belief Systems
When Mikkel leaves Bree the first time, he kisses her hand. At the end of the book, Mikkel holds Bree's hand and puts his arm around her as he proposes marriage.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- Mikkel has found a new freedom in his walk with God.
Why does Mikkel want a new beginning with Bree?
What does he do to prove this to her?
How does Bree react?
How do you react when someone you know is trying to change for the good?
Why is it difficult to change your views about those you know who say they have changed?
What can you do to help instead of hinder people in their Christian growth?
- With his newfound faith, how does Mikkel view his sinful past?
Even though God forgave him, what does he need to do from those he has wronged?
- When Brother Cronan forgives him on behalf of the Irish people, how does Mikkel feel?
Have you ever felt that type of forgiveness?
How does Mikkel want to make things right?
How does he plan to undo the evil he has done?
What have you ever been forgiven for?
Is there anything in your life for which you need to make restitution?
- What have Aiden and Mam O'Toole been praying for since Mikkel raided their countryside?
How can you trust that God knows His plans for you?
Are you willing to submit your life to Him even when things do not go your way?
- How difficult is it for Bree's parents to pray for the man who has caused the hurt in their family?
Are you willing to pray for your enemies?
Are you willing to trust that God is in control even when you do not see a happy ending today?
Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. A book's inclusion does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.