Alda's books are all very nicely written and this one is no exception. A set of great folk legends from Iceland that are relatable and informative about the Icelandic psyche. It's an easy read and will leave you wanting more - in which case, go get the rest of her books! All mine are Kindle versions, but the physical books may have illustrations that for various reasons don't appear in the Kindle versions.
After I read “The Little Book of the Icelanders” & “The Little Book of the Icelanders in the Old Days” I was convinced of the wonderful writing skills of the author, so I also bought this book about the “Icelandic Folk Legends”. In return I got a wonderful trip through Icelandic culture and I was able to link some myths to places I visited which made the reading even more enjoyable. I highly recommend this book to everyone who is interested in some historical background about Iceland or just wants to be carried away by these well written folk tales.
I enjoyed this book a lot, it gave an insight into the folk tales of old time Iceland but I think some of the magic of the stories was a bit "lost in translation" as they ended abruptly at times and some didn't really make much sense.
I'm a big fan of Alda's work, having purchased both Little Book of the Icelanders and her most recent Little Book of the Icelanders in the Old Days (which you should also go out and read if you haven't already). I picked up Icelandic Folk Legends expecting to love it as well, and I wasn't disappointed. Prefaced by an extremely helpful historical overview of myth in Iceland, these fifteen stories are tersely written, as is the style (and as Alda explains in the preface) but wonderfully expressed and brilliantly evocative. I suggest reading them out loud to yourself by candlelight for the best effect :)
It is so important for traditional folktales of all cultures to be written down and published. Alda Sigmundsdottir has skillfully translated these Icelandic tales into English for us. She has also added notes and comments to help us understand better just exactly what the tale may or may not be about. A delightful read. I recommend it to anyone interested in folktales and legends.