I've had a couple of inquiries about the "snake scene", so I thought I'd give you a bit of background. First, let me say that I'm not quite warped enough to dream that up by myself - yet! During the research phase of Birkebeiner, I came across an ancient manuscript called Heimskringla, by Snorri Sturluson, a compilation of post-Viking Norse and Icelandic Sagas. With much of the "saga" literature of that time, it is difficult to tell what is fact and and what is fiction, but it's generally a blend. According to one of Snorri's sagas, this was a torture that some employed. Actually, the saga had an accompanying illustration which pretty much convinced me it needed to be in my notes.
Two things that I felt I had to convince Birkebeiner readers of were that infant Hakon was in grave danger, and that the bishop would stop at nothing to kill him and his father. That's the reason this scene and some of the battle scenes are in the story.
Frankly, the scenes from which I derived the the most pleasure and satisfaction from writing were the scenes which established the personalities and characters of the main players, Inga, Magnus, Torstein, and Skjervald. Whichever scenes you liked best, or skimmed over, I hope you enjoyed the story and I welcome your comments.