Folklore (英語) ペーパーバック – 2015/5/21
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Volume One of the Northlore Series is a modern collection of Scandinavian Folktales, told in new and often surprising ways. With humour, drama and and more than a little tension, you will be drawn into a world of Trolls and Huldr, Elves and Mara. We live in a world full of hidden creatures, if you have the eye to see them. And if you don't, the wonderful illustrations contained in the book should help! The book itself has mystical significance as 33 is a magic number. Is it a coincidence that there are 33 inspired contributions? Well, yes, actually, it probably is. Welcome to the Northlore series. Poetry and prose inspired by Scandinavian Folklore. In turns funny, horrifying, sexy and sad, what you seek is within. Warning! Do NOT feed the animals.
The Northlore Trilogy is the product of the restless mind and imagination of MJ Kobernus. He got together with a whole bunch of people and made something to be proud of. So a big thanks to all the contributors, and a bigger thank you to the readers! MJ lives and works in Norway. He is a father of three beautiful girls, the husband of a beautiful woman and lead guitar for the worlds biggest rock band. Okay...so maybe not everything in the bio is true. But he is from Norway, and he really does play guitar.
Clever plots, and they all are that, aren't enough though. Character is king – too much fantasy writing puts all the colour and subtlety into the humans, leaving the giants, fairies, trolls or whatever as two-dimensional cut-outs, but as I read story after story I became amazed at the depth of characterisation these very smart writers bring to their mythical creations. I came to understand that, at its best, writing about elves, and draugr, hulde, selky and others from the panoply of northern mythological beings is a nifty way of extending the possibilities of humanity, at least in the imagination. The mythical characters are, at their best, insightful reflections of ourselves, gleefully distorted as if in a fairground hall of mirrors. That's the trick of it, to bring them alive and make us feel for them, and these guys are masters at the game. The editor, M J Kobernus, who also wrote one of the best stories about a spelunking tourist who runs into trolls deep in a cave system with genuinely surprising results, has pulled together a stellar gathering of writers from around the world, many of them multiple award winners, and it shows in the quality. Very, very clever stuff. Bring on Vol. II.
The stories and poems are extremely different. Some are set in the Viking age, others in the late middle ages while still others are clearly modern. They are a nice balance of dramatic, funny, scary and nerve racking. I would definitely call this an eclectic collection.
Nordland Publishing is a Norwegian company. They publish Scandinavian centric content, and boy, this meets the bill.
As the blurb on the back says, "Poetry and prose inspired by Scandinavian Folklore. In turns funny, horrifying, sexy and sad, what you seek is within. Warning! Do NOT feed the animals."
I have to say, that sums it up!
If you like trolls, you'll like this. Ditto historical fantasy, epic fantasy, witches, elves and things that go bump in the night.
Overall a quality product, and a great way to experience the spirit of Norway and scandinavia in general.
Looking forward to the next part of the series (it's a series, right? Volume One?)