Both Trekkiegirl and I will post our final thoughts on the book after this, so there’s that to look forward to. Then I’m going to take a short break, and then I’ll get started on Book Choice Number Two, which I’ve promised Kayleigh she’d get to pick. After that, we’ll see!
Magnus calls a Family Meeting, which the narration takes care to specify is called a Thing, or an Althing. This impressed me, because for once it shows that research was actually done for this book, even though it’s a pick-and-choose sort of thing.
The following is more of a paraphrasing than a direct quote, as I normally do.
MAGNUS: “Is it agreed, Family? Are we in fact time-travellers?”
ANGELA: “Y’all’s crazy.”
MAGNUS: “What else could explain-”
ANGELA: “Science has a perfectly good explanation for this. It always does.”
MAGNUS: “I do not underst-”
KIRSTEN: “Grandma Asgar says the Christian God can do anything.”
TOROLF: “IT DOESN’T MATTER WE ARE HERE AND IT IS TOTALLY SWEET.”
MAGNUS: “There still has to be a reason we are here.”
TOROLF: “THE CHICKS. DUDE. FUTURE CHICKS ARE FREAKS AND I MEAN THAT IN ALL THE BEST WAYS.”
MAGNUS: “Grandma Rose did mention she prayed that a knight would come save the Blue Dragon.”
ANGELA: “Yeah, I was going to say that. And here you are.”
TOROLF: “I MEAN IN ALL THE AWESOME SEX WAYS WHEN I SAY THEY ARE FREAKS. THEY DO THE FREAK SEX.”
ANGELA: “We get it.”
TOROLF: “ALSO THEY HAVE BIG FAKE BOOBS.”
TOROLF: “LIKE REALLY, REALLY BIG.”
The Family Council decides that as long as they were in the future, they’d get the most out of it, such as fixing Jogeir’s bad leg, and getting the younger girls into school, and also by the way searching for Magnus’s two brothers that disappeared a while back into the previous books in Sandra Hill’s Time Travelling Viking Novels available wherever books are sold.
(I just looked it up right now. EVERY BOOK IS FROM MAGNUS’S FAMILY. This shit keeps happening to them WHY HAVE THEY NOT LEARNED BETTER BY NOW.)
(Also, apparently you can squeeze a lot more ideas out of a simple “There is time travel, there are Vikings, and then they do the sex” concept than I thought. Who knew?)
If they can find Magnus’s brothers, they can also find out if it’s possible to go back home to The Norselands, if they so desire. Angela hears this, of course, and runs off sobbing.
Because of course.
No time to sulk, though, because the neighboring vintner is back yet again to try to buy the Blue Dragon – conveniently knowing A: that Magnus is a Viking and B: that they’ve been having financial problems. This is still only a day or so after the fire, and he was just there to try to strong-arm them again. He’s also extremely upset at Magnus stepping in to save them, and tells them that “The Incredible Hulk better watch his back.”
This news really bites Magnus in the fjords, though not for the reason you’d think.
“I will tell you why I am angry with you, Angela. You did not summon me when Gunther arrived, even though we have discussed in the past the threat he poses to the Blue Dragon and its people. Did I not order you to call me immediately if he came onto this property?”
He saw Angela bristle at the word order. He had noticed that women in this country – and time – misliked the idea of a man being in control. They associated too much with man-haters like Carmen. Could they not see that there were times when only a man’s might and authority would suffice?
It doesn’t matter, though. Magnus’s cell phone rings – he has a cell phone now apparently – and it’s Torolf, who’s scouting out Gunther’s farm; Gunther just hired some goons. But that’s not all – Magnus hired a private detective to protect the Blue Dragon! All without telling Angela, either.
Oh dear. I feel an epic Relationship Cold War about to break out.
Magnus approaches Angela to get her out of town for the next few days; he has arranged for a showdown between himself and Gunther, hoping to catch him in the act, and he doesn’t want the women or his children around when this happens. Angela, naturally, is furious at this, and he starts telling her what he has been doing the last couple days.
“You hired a private detective? Without consulting me?”
“Yea, I did. And I got my driver’s license today. Didst know that? Of course, I had to take the test twice. I almost hit a pole the first time.”
“Magnus, how could you get a driver’s license when you don’t even have a birth certificate?”
“It helps when you know the right people. Leastways, that is what Harry says. He got those parchments for me, and for all my children, too. And social security cards, whatever they are. Why do people need special licenses in this land to be secure in their social lives?”
So, apparently, in the last couple days, Magnus was taught how to drive a car, successfully got his license, and all because the private investigator he hired got him false identification for ten people. Oh, and got work records for Magnus, saying he was a Green Beret (of course) and in the Witness Protection Program.
Oh, and beside all that, found out that Gunther had been sabotaging the Blue Dragon for years, lured away their prize winemaker to France, hiked up the cost of wine bottles, and ruined Angela’s credit to make sure she couldn’t apply for a loan to save her farm.
That is one hell of a private investigator. Sure, Magnus probably dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars on him, but even then, he must have hired Perry van Shrike for that kind of service.
Angela finally submits to hiding away in LA, biding her time and waiting for Magnus to call and tell her it’s all over and ohgod don’t tell me we’ve got a Bella Swan situation where the only awesome thing that happens and the only thing that I’d want to read about further happens offscreen.
And just like that, it’s all over, APPARENTLY. Much like the Battle of Coruscant, we gloss over something I’d really liked to have seen to make way for DRAMATIC POST-HOSPITAL ANGSTING. Magnus, who has been shot in the shoulder, is refusing treatment until Angela shows up to strong-arm him into taking an injection by a burly-yet-saucy nurse, who is apparently hefty enough to hold Magnus down on her own. Then they have tender-because-otherwise-it-would-bust-stitches sex.
After an unspecified length of recovery time, it is now almost harvesting season, and the kids are enjoying their tutoring sessions, the grapes are coming in nicely, and Angela is warming nicely to the idea of Magnus being around. She’s even considering marrying him and having a child with him, but then Magnus tells her he is making an appointment to have a vasectomy. This throws her into a snitfit, because having a baby is the ultimate goal in marrying someone, and the most important reason to do so, obviously. But then Magnus does the unthinkable:
“I would not mind marrying you, but no more children,” he said as gently as he could.
“You would not mind…” she sputtered, then spun on her heel and rushed into her bathing chamber, where she locked the door after herself, but not before telling him to do something to himself that he was fairly certain was anatomically impossible… although Balki the Braggart had once claimed to do such. But then, Balki was the same person who claimed he could tie his man part in a knot and still engage in sexplay.
Also, on behalf of the however many actual women reading this (since I don’t, y’know, have a vagina but I can imagine pretty well)? Fucking ow. And I’m not even counting the sympathy pain I feel at the mention of a man doing that to himself.
LADIES, BE CLEAR. WE DON’T WANT KNOTTED PENISES ANY MORE THAN YOU DO. PLEASE TRUST ME ON THIS.
Angela’s still sorting out her options when she packs her backs to head back to the city, and she invites Magnus and the Viklings to the cultural fair that Carmen The Man-Hater is running. And…see, I was all prepared to love Sandra Hill’s Epic Takedown of Feminism, but it definitely falls flat. Carmen ends up being an uninteresting character that doesn’t do anything but tell dumb man jokes every time she opens her mouth. Magnus even deflects her easily just by pointing out that her nipples are, well, pointing out.
“It must be true. Some men drink from the fountain of knowledge, but most of them just gargle.”
“Nipples, nipples, nipples,” he said.
“Dumb, dumb, dumb,” Carmen said.
Rapier wit. I know, I’m having trouble keeping up too.
Right away, Sandra Hill gets her digs in at the Society for Creative Anachronism, which she thinks are amateurish buffoons who occasionally do some interesting things. WAY TO TURN OFF ALL MY READERS, SANDRA HILL. I’m not even going to make comments about this; have at. This is my gift to you.
This was no group of rank amateurs who had gathered here at the cultural fair. Oh, there were the usual Society of Creative Anachronism types, but even these knew their subjects well.
The whole cultural fair is pretty neat, but what draws Magnus’s attention is the Viking exhibit, staffed by none other than Geirolf Ericsson, Magnus’s missing brother who the Viklings theorized fell into a time vortex the same way they did! And not only that, despite living on the Eastern Seaboard, is working at this cultural fair that Magnus is dropping by!
Also, their other missing brother happens to be in this time too, as a personal trainer in Texas.
Coincidence? I think…oh, tup it.
The Viklings decide to head to San Antonio to have a big family reunion, and Angela is standing, crying, in the airport, being the biggest cliché she can think of. Why is she crying so much?
Because she’s pregnant. HEY ANGELA I GUESS LETTING MAGNUS GO BAREBACK WASN’T A GOOD IDEA EVEN THOUGH YOU WERE ON THE PILL.
I am shocked. Completely flabbergasted. How could I have possibly foretold that in The Very Virile Viking there would be a pregnancy? Especially because they sure didn’t foreshadow it in the first couple pages, with Magnus being so potent that he could impregnate a woman at ten paces. ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED I TELL YOU.
So now, of course, we have Angela sitting at home, pregnant, waiting to tell Magnus. And Magnus, halfway across the country, pining away from being separated from Angela, and being a general dick to his brothers. He misses her so much, that he’s even considering having another baby with her.
OH HAPPENSTANCE, OH SWEET SERENDIPITY.
When Magnus returns, he and Angela are prepared to have a shouting match. But then they see each other and kiss and then Magnus proposes, and all is better. That’s all women need, apparently; a man’s proposal. Then they don’t have any more worries in the world. (Of course, it helps when the man is richer than God, but hey, that would be material.)
The wedding is set at the Vineyard, and it is catered by Domino’s, because apparently asking a bunch of teenagers what they wanted to eat at a wedding is a wonderful idea. Good times were had by all, but Angela has two surprises for Magnus. One is, of course, that she’s pregnant.
Hooray, hooray, a wonderful day, for Magnus has his cow.