Saturday 31 August 2019

Book Review: Saga Land by Fidler & Gíslason (Non-Fiction/History/Travel/Folklore&Myth)

Title: Saga Land
Author: Fidler & Gíslason
ABC Books

Publication Date: 2018
Secondhand Copy


Broadcaster Richard Fidler and author Kári Gíslason are good friends. They share a deep attachment to the sagas of Iceland - the true stories of the first Viking families who settled on that remote island in the Middle Ages.These are tales of blood feuds, of dangerous women, and people who are compelled to kill the ones they love the most. The sagas are among the greatest stories ever written, but the identity of their authors is largely unknown.

Together, Richard and Kári travel across Iceland, to the places where the sagas unfolded a thousand years ago. They cross fields, streams and fjords to immerse themselves in the folklore of this fiercely beautiful island. And there is another mission: to resolve a longstanding family mystery - a gift from Kari's Icelandic father that might connect him to the greatest of the saga authors.

Overall, Saga Land was an enjoyable read. Not much of it was new to me per se, since I have already read all the sagas mentioned, along with books on the Vikings and the history of Iceland. However, I enjoyed the way the work was presented, incorporating the two authors' travels and Gíslason's family history. This book would certainly be a great introduction to Icelandic history and the sagas for any coming to the works for the first time--a taster of the stories before dipping into the full texts. As such I am giving it four stars. It makes a nice addition to my Norse Myth/Saga shelves in my home library.

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