laojim wrote:The Vikings accepted the invitation and made their way all the way across the Russian landscape with a single portage at what is now Smolensk to the city that would serve as the capital of Russia for some hundreds of years, Kiev. This also seems rather unlikely but in the hands of a good story teller it makes some sense.
That's actually something that a lot of different people and states tried to do at different times. Bernadotte was given the crown of Sweden because of his reputation for good administration, fairness in rule, leniency to Swedish citizens, and his abilities as a soldier. The widow of King Tutankhamun, following the death of her cousin-half brother husband, was being controlled and threatened by her chief retainers and in order to get out of the dangerous situation that would have seen her family supplanted, Ankhesenamun made an appeal to the Hittites for a Prince to be her new Husband and rule over Egypt. That one did not work out, Ankhesenamun lost all power, her would-be husband was killed, and war with the Hittites occurred. The Greeks had dozens of examples of these kinds of stories where a King or General or repute would be invited to take over leadership of a Poleis or an Empire. Theses stories are everywhere, and you can find a number of them in China too, only to take on official appointment to secure the empire or the government rather than take over - with the exception of Emperor Yao to Emperor Shun. I cannot be certain, but I believe I recall a conversation somewhere whereby the native Chinese subjects of the Korean commanderies that were left behind by the collapsing Jin invited the Koreans to take over the region, which more directly parallels this if true.
It happens a little too often for it to be as unlikely as it may appear at first glance.
As for the book, I'll have to check it out some time.