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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ian Cumpstey's Warrior Lore: Ballads That Make You Want to Sing

Sven Snow-White.
Say that three times, and fast!
Come on, I dare you!

No I haven't lost my mind. Well, yeah I have, but not because of the latest ebook review I have for you!

image via http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1403518702l/22568870.jpg

Warrior Lore is a selection of ballads translated from Scandinavian folklore by Ian Cumpstey.

So what's it about?

Heroes battle with trolls, fight for desired maidens, and duel each other. There's even a short ballad staring Thor, Loki, and Freya. These are old tales, and were translated into the English language via writings from the 19th century, complete with documentation, and also includes a brief summary before each ballad in order to guide the reader.

Pretty heavy stuff, right?

While I don't intend to start reviewing translations of historical documents - that's not my forte - I'm certainly glad that I agreed to read this when Cumpstey brought it to my attention. 

The thing is, these ballads are fun! Sure, they're written in a lyrical format, and sure, they require me to think a wee bit harder than an ebook normally requires, but these ballads are packed with action. I mean,

Freya got so angry that blood shot out of her fingertips!

Seriously. Exciting stuff!

There were a couple of lines that didn't quite seem to work, but Cumpstey was sure to keep the poetic style flowing smoothly, to the point that I wished I could hear these ballads sung. I'm not normally one for ballads, either, so that's high praise.

I read this because he mentioned one of my favorite creatures - trolls. I have a huge collection of them staring down at me in my office. Their nasty hair and gigantic noses make me happy.

As you can see, it doesn't take much to keep me happy...

But even though I read it so that I could enjoy some real Scandinavian troll stories, I came to love it on its own merit. This is a spectacular work, and if you enjoy Scandinavian folklore, or even just tales about the Norse gods, it's worth reading. Cumpstey was diligent in his research, and he truly took the time to ensure the reader loves these Ballads as much as he obviously does.

Warrior Lore can be found only on Kindle.

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