When I read this recent story in the Washington Post about an unusual Viking grave discovery made in Birka, I found it fascinating for more than one reason.

warrior-womanFirst, the Viking found in the grave was female. Second, she wore a silver ring with a stone that bore a unique inscription. In fact, according to the article, “It was the only known Viking Age ring with an Arabic inscription to be found in the entire of Scandinavia.”

To be honest, the mystery of this 9th century Viking woman and her Arabic-inscribed ring actually sent a few shivers through me. Why? Because I realized that our heroine in With Dragons She Walks, Cailin, might be real after all. Cailin could be this woman.

The researchers’ conclusions that the real Viking woman in the grave got her ring through trade is logical. In our book, Cailin is directly involved in her Viking father’s trading endeavors. Of course, the fact that Cailin’s Birka and Middle East adventures happen too just seems to cement a few more cool coincidences.

That’s what I love about history and fiction. They aren’t worlds apart. In fact, they mesh quite beautifully.