A fresh new collection of folklore was released from Nordland Publishing last month: The Northlore Series: Volume One. Though it’s slightly outside the fairy-tale focus of the MFTS, I was delighted when asked to review it on the blog.
And let me tell you, from the moment I saw the cover I was hooked, and I began my journey into the realm of trolls, draugrs, huldr, selkies, elves, and witches…
Gorgeous isn’t it? The book is a contemporary collection of 33 Scandinavian folk tales, inspired by ancient tales from this region. I’ve read many anthologies of old tales collected from different countries, so it was refreshing to read some modern incarnations!
Indeed, as Nordland Publishing have written about their book:
“The Scandinavian peoples came originally from a world of mists and forests, a landscape that spawned a rich history of myth and legend, which entered the collective psyche and formed the bedrock of their soul. Although severely diminished by the arrival of Christianity in the last millennium, these beliefs never fully died out. Many have been preserved as fragments in songs and sagas, while others survive as stories, still told by parents to their children … At the root of the stories, there are lessons to be a learned; little nuggets of wisdom that made sense in their time, and perhaps still makes sense today.”
The collection most definitely reflects the intersection between old and new tales, as it contains tales that harken back to olden times, such as “Hold the Door,” as well as tales told in a contemporary setting, such as “Between Two Worlds.”
I’m also a poetry lover at heart, so I was delighted to see both prose and verse. I particularly enjoyed the mournful beauty of “Fossegrim” and the tension between lust and fear in “Mara, My Love.”
And there are some lovely illustrations peppered throughout to stir the imagination.
All in all, this is a special collection, and I love that it’s dedicated “To all those who dream.”