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Scandinavian Folk & Fairy Tales: Tales From Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland & Iceland

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A collection of folk literature from five countries, with illustrations by native artists.


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A collection of folk literature from five countries, with illustrations by native artists.

30 review for Scandinavian Folk & Fairy Tales: Tales From Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland & Iceland

  1. 4 out of 5

    christina

    I hate to say that these were really disappointing :( (There was literally only ONE story about vikings in this whole book!) Also worth noting, is that these tales are heavily influenced by early christian views of the Scandinavian countries, rather than the pantheon of norse gods and goddesses. Recorded between the 1400-1900s, a lot of the tales reward the male characters for scheming, tricking and murdering their way to riches or crowns. While their female counterparts were punished for not bein I hate to say that these were really disappointing :( (There was literally only ONE story about vikings in this whole book!) Also worth noting, is that these tales are heavily influenced by early christian views of the Scandinavian countries, rather than the pantheon of norse gods and goddesses. Recorded between the 1400-1900s, a lot of the tales reward the male characters for scheming, tricking and murdering their way to riches or crowns. While their female counterparts were punished for not being submissive or acting in their own best interests, which was obviously not entertaining to me as a reader. Here were some of my favorites from each section: (note: there are not many) Section 1, Tales from Norway The Lad and the North Wind East of the Sun and West of the Moon Master Tobacco Section 2, Tales from Sweden The Werwolf Section 3, Tales from Denmark The Troll's Hammer Toller's Neighbors The Girl Clad in Mouseskin Section 4, Tales from Finland The Mouse Bride Antti and the Wizard's Prophecy Jurma and the Sea God Liisa and the Prince Section 5, Tales from Iceland: The Grateful Elfwoman Hildur, the Queen of the Elves

  2. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    Finland wins for best fairy tales :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    This book collects many folk and fairy tales from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. The stories are pulled from the oral tradition and thus vary greatly in length and level of complexity. Some are just a quick paragraph with a moral, while others are more of a short story length and feature fantastic descriptions, legendary characters, and so on. The stories retain an authentic-feeling voice--I can just picture an 18th-century goatherd telling these tales to a visiting folklorist. I This book collects many folk and fairy tales from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. The stories are pulled from the oral tradition and thus vary greatly in length and level of complexity. Some are just a quick paragraph with a moral, while others are more of a short story length and feature fantastic descriptions, legendary characters, and so on. The stories retain an authentic-feeling voice--I can just picture an 18th-century goatherd telling these tales to a visiting folklorist. I was particularly interested in learning about Icelandic folklore, which often seem to feature troublesome elf-human interactions at Christmastime. I read some of the tales from other countries too. There's a wide variety, telling of trolls, elves, witches, wish-granting beings, princesses, and more. Some elements will be familiar to readers of fairy tales from other places, while others hint at particularly Scandinavian beasts, landscapes, and characters.

  4. 5 out of 5

    no_more_color

    "Oh, thousands of times have we played on the shore, And caught little fishes---dost mind it no more? We raced with the surf as it rolled at our feet, And the lurking old Merman we always did cheat. "Yes, much shalt thou think of at my lullaby, Whilst the billows do rock and the breezes do sigh. Who sits now and weeps o'er thy cheeks? It is she Who gave thee her soul, and whose soul lived in thee. "But once as an eider-duck homeward I came Thou didst lie 'neath a rock, with thy rifle didst aim; In my brea "Oh, thousands of times have we played on the shore, And caught little fishes---dost mind it no more? We raced with the surf as it rolled at our feet, And the lurking old Merman we always did cheat. "Yes, much shalt thou think of at my lullaby, Whilst the billows do rock and the breezes do sigh. Who sits now and weeps o'er thy cheeks? It is she Who gave thee her soul, and whose soul lived in thee. "But once as an eider-duck homeward I came Thou didst lie 'neath a rock, with thy rifle didst aim; In my breast thou didst strike me; the blood thou dost see Is the mark that I bear, oh! beloved one, of thee." This excerpt from the Finnish tale "Finn Blood" captures the spirit of the entire collection, but these stories are important for another reason; my favorite video games derive many of their plot lines from them.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kira Brighton

    I enjoyed reading all these different folk and fairytales, and comparing them was quite interesting. For example, in all these Scandinavian tales, it's not love that transforms a creature back into a prince, it's murder. Specifically, cutting his head off. How weird is that? Also, they have a thing about swan-selkies. In the tales from Norway, my favorites were "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," "The Honest Penny," and "Boots and the Beasts." From Sweden, "What Shall Baby's Name Be?" was def I enjoyed reading all these different folk and fairytales, and comparing them was quite interesting. For example, in all these Scandinavian tales, it's not love that transforms a creature back into a prince, it's murder. Specifically, cutting his head off. How weird is that? Also, they have a thing about swan-selkies. In the tales from Norway, my favorites were "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," "The Honest Penny," and "Boots and the Beasts." From Sweden, "What Shall Baby's Name Be?" was definitely calling me out, while I enjoyed "The Ten Fairy Servants" and "The Werwolf" best. Denmark had a whole section of stories from my boy Hans Christian Andersen, whom I love, with favorites like "The Wild Swans," "The Elf of the Rose," "The Little Mermaid," "The Nightingale," and "The Marsh King's Daughter." From Finland, I best liked "Vaino and the Swan Princess," "The Mouse Bride," and "Jurma and the Sea God." Finally, Iceland's tales struck me as the most simplistic, but I quite liked "Hildur, the Queen of the Elves."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lock

    Great stories, and while the introduction describes Christianity as the "early and prime" faith of Scandinavia, some do retain elements of the pre-Christian folk spirituality. Its a pretty extensive collection. The organization is by country, which allows interesting characterization of the various cultures of the region.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robert Costic

    This makes a good reference book. but I don't see it as something to read cover to cover. There are a huge number of tales, and with the exception of a few by Andersen they are told in the vernacular, which can grow tiring after a while.

  8. 5 out of 5

    lisa

    This was ok, very dense, and an excellent reference book that I can't bear to let the library get rid of, even though our only copy is falling to pieces, but I think I wanted to read more about the mythology of Scandinavia, so this book fell short.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bridgett

    Vast collection of tales from all over Scandinavia.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A wonderful collection of folk and fairy tales; you can see the roots of what inspired Tolkien and what continues to inspire Gaiman.

  11. 5 out of 5

    AA

    Great collection of fairy tales!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ben

  14. 5 out of 5

    James

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kathy A. Blouin

  16. 5 out of 5

    Seth

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pat

  18. 4 out of 5

    Felicia Mordhorst

  19. 5 out of 5

    Linnea

  20. 4 out of 5

    Julia v. Augustine

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Clay I presume?

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shelly

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nerdyhairisdirty

  24. 5 out of 5

    michael molloy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mario Brooks

  27. 4 out of 5

    Linda Cart

  28. 5 out of 5

    Taya-rose Franco

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rob Kemp

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristiina Lalor

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