Warrior Lore By Ian Cumpstey


Ian Cumpstey’s masterful translation of ten Scandinavian folk ballads will amuse, entertain, and delight you if you are at all into this sort of mythological storytelling.

He has done a wonderful job of bringing these ballads — many of them centuries old — into popular verse form, so even readers like me (I have an English degree, but never got much past Beowulf) can easily appreciate them.

He has even written a brief introduction prior to each one, giving it valuable context and a glimpse into the role each played during the times they were being told in their native languages (around a blazing hearth deep in the Scandinavian woods, one imagines).

I particularly liked the one involving the currently big-screen popular God Thor cross-dressing to retrieve Mjolnir. I can just imagine how movie audiences today would react to seeing their superhero dressed up in a woman’s frock.

The rest of the ballads ranged from cheerful and sunny, to melancholy and tragic, clearly showing that Scandinavian audiences — like those today — appreciated a well-told tale, full of human (and mythological God) triumphs and tragedies.

I give Warrior Lore five stars and recommend it as good reading material to be shared around a roaring fire — now as way back then.

Amazon Link


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