The Storyteller and Other Tales (英語) ペーパーバック – 2008/9/30
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A collection for adults and older teens, The Storyteller and Other Tales will take you on a journey through exotic worlds and times. Demon bears take human shape and devils walk in the north of a world where every hill hosts a god and every river and spring a goddess. Ulfleif, a warrior-princess who would rather carry a lyre than a sword, is drawn into an unfinished tale by the storyteller Moth, and old lays of vengeance and betrayal wake into bloody new life around her. A slave in Bronze-Age Korthan sees his lovers suffer and die for the crime of worshipping outlawed gods and in the midst of horror at their sin, finds his own faith shaken and takes his own first steps on the road to rebellion. In a tale built on the familiar legends of our world, Merlin's daughter relates the story of the fall of Arthur's Britain as you have never heard it, a tale of adultery and treachery old and well-known, yet fresh and startling in Nimiane's telling. The unnamed common men of England who faced a later generation of sea-raiders are given voice once more in the historical tale of the Battle of Maldon, when English fought Vikings at the Blackwater and lost. In all these tales, the common thread is otherness; other worlds, other times, other ways of looking at heroism and tragedy, faith and betrayal and victory. Build the fire up, shut out the dark, and let The Storyteller carry you away.
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In "The Storyteller," Ulfleif, a warrior-princess who would rather not carry the sword she has inherited, is drawn to the mysterious storyteller Moth, who has an agenda of her own for seeking out Ulfleif's home. He-Redeems, a slave in Bronze-Age Korthan, finds that his lovers have been tortured and executed for the crime of worshipping outlawed gods in "He-Redeems," and in response to this horror, finds his own faith shaken. Merlin's daughter rewrites a familiar tale in "The Inexorable Tide," painting a picture of Arthur's Britain steeped in adultery and unexpected treachery. "a. d. cmxci" gives voice to a group of common men of England who faced a barrage of sea-raiders in the historical tale of the Battle of Maldon.
THE STORYTELLER AND OTHER TALES is a collection based around the idea of `other,' and, as such, it succeeds admirably. While all of the stories contained in this book have a magical element to them, which makes this an excellent read, the reader is drawn towards thoughts of what exactly makes the `other' different, and what place otherness has in society today. The best of books are ones that entertain and yet still manage to compel deep thought on the part of the reader, and this is certainly one of them. K. V. Johansen nudges the reader to consider different ways of looking at the world, at heroism and betrayal, and of tragedy.
I enjoyed this collection very much, and I was disappointed to find that it was comprised of only four stories when I reached the end.
Reviewed by: Rebecca Wells