The Vikings were a terrifying force that changed history across the globe - from Canada all the way to Iraq. But they were merchants as well as marauders, explorers as well as adventurers. The greatest seafarers and shipbuilders of their age, they were also skilled metalworkers and artists, farmers and fishermen, healers and herders.
They were even democrats who established the world's oldest surviving parliament. Award-winning writer David Long's concise but wide-ranging account brings their fascinating civilisation into focus, explaining what Viking life was actually like as well as considering their lingering influence throughout the world.