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The Saga of the People of Laxardal and Bolli Bollason's Tale (Penguin Classics) Paperback – June 4, 2008
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"The Angels" Share" by J.R. Ward
Best-selling author J. R. Ward delivers the second novel in her Bourbon Kings series—a sweeping saga of a Southern dynasty struggling to maintain a façade of privilege and prosperity, while secrets and indiscretions threaten its very foundation. Learn more | See related books
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So, given their easy accessibility and excitement, I'm grateful that these classics are never taught at high school level. I mean, the characters and plots could easily appeal to kids of that age and could broaden their notions of literature and history. But, in my experience, anything taught in high school becomes repulsive - decades later, I still can't stomach whatever was jammed down my throat back then. I remain grateful that these wonderful stories were spared that treatment, and can still offer enjoyable reading as well as cultural insight.
Here we have a narrative of a multi-generational feud, and how two families came to blows over a minor incident. The violence escalated as each faction vowed to avenge ever-increasing assaults upon their relatives, property, and family prestige.
At the center of it all, is the ill-fated love between Kjartan and Gudrun. Kjartan, a powerful up-and-coming warrior in his youth, sailed off to Norway to seek his fortune in the service of the king. Gudrun, the most glamorous woman in northwestern Iceland, waited some time for Kjartan to return, ...but married Kjartan's best friend Bolli Bollason instead.
Kjartan eventually returned to Iceland, wealthier and with a great reputation earned abroad. Finding Gudrun married, he chose another woman, ...and Gudrun never forgave him!
With the inevitable tensions set, it was all a matter of time before the swords, knives, and axes came out.