I love this book, and have made several projects using the patterns. But it is not a book for every knitter, and certainly not for the new or casual knitter. For one thing, much of the book is taken up with archaeological discussion -- interesting, but those who buy the book just for the patterns may not feel they're getting their money's worth. Second, you really have to learn new skills to use it. I am a very experienced knitter, and can use both charts and traditionally-written directions, but it took me a while to grasp this new system (I wrote the code for the charts onto the page of each chart I used, and that helped). And, third, the sweaters themselves are not adaptable, simple, sized for everyone, or even necessarily suited for daily wear. All are very special, unusual designs -- the ball gowns of the sweater world -- and friends will say "Oh, you're wearing your Viking sweater!" every time you do.
That said, let me also say that I submerged myself in Viking knitting for months after buying this book. The stitch patterns are like Aran cables, but they do not go from the top to the bottom in the usual way. Lavold has figured out how to get cables to twine all over the place -- even into medallion-ish closed shapes. I practiced the techniques and designs on slippers and hats and other small projects before attempting a sweater, and found them very usable for alll kinds of projects. If you knit enough to adapt patterns, you will find that the Viking designs will add interest to many other projects and patterns. And if you are a medium-sized person with dramatic tastes, you will love the sweaters, too.
There are more than 14 projects altogether, including a cushion and afghan, one child's sweater, some coats, unisex and women's sweaters, and a number of smaller things like hats, socks, and mittens. All are beautiful and unusual.