Warrior Lore: Scandinavian Ballads by Ian Cumpstey

Warrior Lore: Scandinavian Ballads

byIan Cumpstey

Kobo ebook | May 2, 2014

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Thor resorts to cross-dressing in a bid to recover his stolen hammer. The hero Widrick Waylandsson comes face to face with a troll in the forest. A king's daughter is abducted from a convent in rural Sweden. A young fighter has to show off his prowess in skiing and shooting for King Harald Hardrada. And more... 

The medieval Scandinavian ballads in this collection tell stories of champions and fighters, vikings, and trolls, drawing on Norse mythology and heroic legend. There are riddles, and there are appearances from Thor, Loki, Sigurd, and other figures from the myths of the Edda and from history. Narrative ballads were part of an oral folk music tradition in Scandinavia, and were first written down around 1600, although the ballads themselves are older. These new English verse translations are mainly based on Swedish tradition. 

All the ballads included are: 
Widrick Waylandsson's Fight with Long-Ben Reyser; Twelve Strong Fighters; Hilla-Lill; Sir Hjalmar; The Hammer Hunt; The Stablemates; Sven Swan-White; The Cloister Raid; Heming and the Mountain Troll; Heming and King Harald. 

"A charming introduction to Scandinavian Lore." -- Sam Smith, in The Journal (once 'of Contemporary Anglo-Scandinavian Poetry')

Title:Warrior Lore: Scandinavian BalladsFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:May 2, 2014Publisher:Ian CumpsteyLanguage:English

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Warrior Lore is a set of translated Scandanavian folk tales. It is a short ebook, coming in at 41 pages on my ereader, but it is worth it. I will admit that I wouldn't normally accept translated folk tales for review purposes, but I was intrigued by the premise and dived into them at the first opportunity. Ian Cumpstey has taken a very academic approach to this work. Rather than just translate each story and shove them down on paper, he has taken the time and trouble to place an introductory segment before each tale and to give a bibliography at the back. These have the flavour of 'every' folk tale I have ever read. They are tragic, depressing, romantic and heroic all at the same time. Ian manages to make the translation gripping at the same time as providing a fairly solid start into Scandanavian myth. I started reading these tonight and did not stop until I had finished.
Date published: 2014-12-01