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Icelandic Folk Legends: Tales of Apparitions, Outlaws, and Things Unseen cover art

Icelandic Folk Legends: Tales of Apparitions, Outlaws, and Things Unseen

By: Alda Sigmundsdóttir
Narrated by: Alda Sigmundsdottir
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Summary

The Icelandic nation has a long and rich history of storytelling. Throughout centuries characterized by hardship, poverty, and dark winters, the Icelanders kept their spirits high and moral values intact by telling each other stories. In this collection of 15 Icelandic folk legends, we get a glimpse of the world view of the Icelanders in centuries past as they endeavored to understand and cope with the natural phenomena around them. There are stories of malicious ghosts, outlaws living in carved-out boulders, hidden people residing in grassy knolls, trolls that are tripped up by their own stupidity, and much more. In addition, there is one story exemplifying a fairy tale motif that scholars have discovered to be unique to Iceland: that of the good stepmother, "The Story of Himinbjörg". Throughout the book we get a powerful sense of the Icelanders’ beliefs, values, and fears, as well as their strong need to cling to all that was pure and good.

©2016 Alda Sigmundsdottir (P)2019 Alda Sigmundsdottir

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  • J. Jones
  • 06-01-21

A Treat

The introduction was eye-opening, and the folk legends were often silly and outlandish. Listening to this book was a truly enjoyable experience, in part both because Alda has a pleasant voice, and because she is so humorously matter-of-fact when relaying some ridiculous statement by an ogre (or an elf, or an outlaw). It is rare that I listen to the same audiobook twice, but this is likely one I will revisit again soon—and I have already purchased a couple other volumes by Alda. Highly recommended!

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  • Johanna
  • 29-05-20

Fantastical, fun, and informative

I absolutely love Alda Sigmundsdóttir's work. She provides a lot of context about the folk tales and various theories about their origins. This collection includes stories that are scary, humorous, heart-warming and downright bizarre. She reads them wonderfully with different voices for different characters which makes it very entertaining. I can't wait to read more of her work.

3 people found this helpful