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The Faraway North: Scandinavian Ballads Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The introductions accompanying each ballad did a good job of setting the scene for the events about to transpire. There were plenty of times that, without those introductions, certain details or events might have been overlooked upon a first read because they appear in allusions or in fast-passing moments during the ballads. So those introductions are perfect companions to each ballad in this collection.
There are a lot of similarities with these ballads and the literature of the Anglo-Saxons and the Icelanders, the two areas of Medieval literature that I am most familiar with. After reading this collection, I feel a level of comfort in expanding my interest to Scandinavian literature from that period as well and look forward to uncovering more literary treasures and seeing what else Mr. Cumpstey has to offer. I cannot express enough how wonderful this short collection of ballads was to read, and highly recommend them to anyone with an interested in literature from medieval cultures or even fans of fantasy.
I was provided a free eBook copy of this in exchange for an honest review.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It’s been a while since I’ve read a collection of ballads, so I figured I was well overdue for one. I definitely did not regret this read! It gave a fabulous insight into the Scandinavian Folk Ballads, something I had never gotten to read much of before.
Characters: Because this is a collection of ballads, it is difficult to review the characters individually, but I will say that both the original authors, and the modern translator did a fantastic job of bringing these characters to life and making them seem real and relatable.
Plot: These ballads are all beautifully paced to keep the reader (or listener, if performed as it was meant to be) engaged and interested. But ballads aren’t for everyone. They have a completely different formula than ANY of our modern methods of storytelling. I think this collection really does do an excellent job of being true to the ballads.
To Sum It Up: This collection of action-packed ballads was beautifully translated (no easy feat), and tells a story of a far different time and culture. If you like ballads or that kind of thing (come on, there have got to be other YA readers that like ballads, too!) I recommend this collection for readers 11 and up. (And yes, I was reading collections of ballads when I was 11. It’s a thing of mine. I love ballads!)
The author has picked some of his favourite ballads translated into English for us to enjoy
I particularly liked how the author broke down the tale before you read it so you could understand what was to come. Some of the words used wouldn’t make sense without this background information, which was very much appreciated
Another great thing about this book is it isn’t a hard read and since the ballads are only around 10 minutes long you can fit a tale in whenever you have a little free time.
The background behind these ballads is what really interested me. Knowing many ballads are either lost as they were never written down or have changed over the years as they have been passed down through the generations
It was a great introduction to something I would have normally passed on and I’m glad I had my eyes opened
I felt it was very well written and above all interesting. It’s not my normal genre of choice but I wouldn’t say no to reading more in the future
Great read if you’re after something a little bit different. Unless this is your genre.. then I hope you ‘ll love this
This particular selection of ballads chronicles various heroic quests, such as those involving knights rescuing damsels from mythical beasts, suitors vying for the hand of a maiden, as well as those undertaken by legendary heroes, e.g. Sigurd the Dragon Killer, and Sven Felding.
The Christian men are painted almost as Saints, while the mythical creatures seem to be the personification of all that is evil. However, one could also infer that the Christian men are the devil in a guise, waiting patiently to strip young maidens of their innocents, while these 'monsters' seek mainly to protect instead.
This collection includes beautifully tragic scenes that are well written and will probe at your heart. Ian Cumpstey has done a marvellous job of translating these ballads into English so that countless others may go on to enjoy them. A masterpiece of translation. Easily 4 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you like folklore and mythology this is a great little read. It is educational and entertaining.Read more