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NESP Reviews


The Sagas of the Icelanders
A Selection

Preface by Jane Smiley
Introduction by Robert Kellogg
various translators

782 pages

        I was very pleased when this new edited version of the five volume, “The Complete Sagas of the Icelanders” became available. The $500+ price tag of the five volume set makes it inaccessible to many. However this edited version of the five volume set is accessible to most and more so now that it is in paperback for $20. This edition contains many of the greatest sagas of the Northern Tradition and many of the more obscure tales and sagas that one might not be as familiar with. Egil's Saga alone would probably be worth the asking price but you also have others sagas such as the Saga of the People of Laxardal, the Saga of the People of Vatnsdal, Gisli Sursson's Saga, The Saga of Hrafnkel Frey's Godi and much more. The translations are all modern and updated complete with explanatory notes where needed. Included is a comprehensive introduction, timelines, recommendations for further reading, maps, illustrations, diagrams and a very good reference section explaining such things as ships of the Viking Age, farmsteads and more. You'll not only get a great number of sagas and tales, but you will also learn about the age and political climate in which they take place, which will enrich your enjoyment and understanding of the sagas. These sagas and tales will entertain as much as they inform. Anyone who is interested in Northern Tradition for whatever reason, whether it be simply out of curiosity or as one who lives Northern Tradition, owes it to themselves to get this book.

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