Christina here. The hero of my latest book The Runes of Destiny is a Viking merchant who trades in all kinds of goods – whatever will make him the most profit. However, when I researched the type of things he would be likely to bring on a trip to Miklagarðr (Byzantium), I became fascinated by one in particular – amber. The more I read about it, the more I came to appreciate it, and I could well imagine how pleased a Viking woman would have been to receive such a gift – who wouldn’t be? It also seemed like the ideal trade goods – it was easy to transport, didn’t take up much space, and was highly sought after everywhere, plus in some places you could actually pick it up for free! (If you knew where to look).