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Some Quick Thoughts on Hnefatafl by Jonathon George

In August of 2019, I posted this tweet:

Hnefatafl Book Tweet

Fast forward 3 years, I finally take a crack at reading book. Since I literally just finished it tonight, I’d thought I jot down some quick thoughts while the ideas were still fresh in my head.

  • At 437 pages, this is a very long and comprehensive book.
  • It’s probably a little too long.
  • I really appreciate the passion Jonathon George has for Hnefatafl. You really can sense that while reading this book.
  • I think he struggled a little to find a consistent voice for the book. Sometimes it wanted to be more academic, sometimes it wanted to be more casual and conversational.
  • I wish there was more of a deep dive analysis on Alea Evangelii.
  • I really liked how there were different sets of rules presented at the end.
  • I also really liked how he gave rules for other related games as well.
  • I would not recommend to someone just wanting to learn casually about the game. Damian Walker’s books are probably better for that.
  • I would recommend to someone who wants a different perspective and is especially interested in the ancient folklores, poems and story related to the game.