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Medieval Icelanders struggled for hundreds of years with their political allegiance, religious adherence, social structure and their remote island home itself with its awesome challenges to human existence. Furnished nine hundred years ago with the Latin alphabet, Icelanders began writing remarkable narratives of their own lives and of their Norse heritage—and clever, wily Snorri has long been considered by many scholars foremost among the medieval authors of Iceland as well as the leading power broker of his day on the island.

Nancy Marie Brown concludes her Song of the Vikings in truly constructive fashion with an absorbing essay on the reception of medieval Icelandic literature in the modern world, confirming the indelible signature of this sophisticated people on the texts of our global civilization, from Wagner and Tolkien to Thor from Marvel Comics and A.


Like her earlier The Far Traveler, on the expansive journeys of the Norse, Nancy Marie Brown's Song of the Vikings belongs in the hands of every discerning student of Western civilization. She has studied Icelandic literature and culture since Our Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website.

Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths

To withdraw your consent, see Your Choices. Martin's Griffin. Martin's Griffin St. An Indie Next pick for December , Song of the Vikings brings to life Snorri Sturluson, wealthy chieftain, wily politician, witty storyteller, and the sole source of Viking lore for all of Western literature.

Nancy Marie Brown: The Song of the Vikings, Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths

Tales of one-eyed Odin, Thor and his mighty hammer, the trickster Loki, and the beautiful Valkyries have inspired countless writers, poets, and dreamers through the centuries, including Richard Wagner, JRR Tolkien, and Neil Gaiman, and author Nancy Marie Brown brings alive the medieval Icelandic world where it all began. She paints a vivid picture of the Icelandic landscape, with its colossal glaciers and volcanoes, steaming hot springs, and moonscapes of ash, ice, and rock that inspired Snorri's words, and led him to create unforgettable characters and tales.

Drawing on her deep knowledge of Iceland and its history and first-hand reading of the original medieval sources, Brown gives us a richly textured narrative, revealing a spellbinding world that continues to fascinate. Indeed, I expected a book about Snorri to be, at best, esoteric knowledge of little value to anyone outside of academia, or at worst, to be terribly boring. Had Snorri been nothing more than a successful 13th-century Icelandic chieftain, his name would be relegated to the dustiest of bookshelves. But he was also a skald and a writer of genius proportions to whom we owe a tremendous debt, being our main — and often only — source for the stories about the Vikings. Toggle navigation. Browse our magazines Submit your novel for review.

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