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Based on Viking Age poems, The Saga of the Volsungs combines mythology, legend and sheer human drama. At its heart are the heroic deeds of Sigurd the dragon slayer who acquires magical knowledge from one of Odin's Valkyries. Yet it is also set in a very human world, incorporating strands from the oral narratives of the fourth and fifth centuries, when Attila the Hun and other warriors fought on the northern frontiers of the Roman Empire. One of the great books of world literature, the saga is an unforgettable tale of princely jealousy, unrequited love, greed and vengeance. With its cursed treasure of the Rhine, sword reforged and magic ring of power, it was a major influence for writers including William Morris and J. R. R. Tolkein and for Wagner's Ring cycle.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780140447385
ISBN-10: 0140447385
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 9mm)
Pages: 160
Imprint: Penguin Classics
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 27-May-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


UK Kirkus Review » A tale of princely jealousy, unrequited love, greed and vengeance, this is one of the great source books of world literature. Based on Viking-age poems, incorporating oral memories of the 4th and 5th centuries, it follows the heroic deeds of Sigurd the dragon slayer. With its ill-fated Rhinegold, the sword reforged and the magic ring of power, the saga has clearly been an inspiration for fantasy writers such as J R R Tolkein and for Richard Wagner's Ring cycle, not to mention the Star Wars films. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Jesse L. Byock

The Icelandic author of THE SAGA OF THE VOLSUNGS is unknown and based his prose epic on strories found in earlier Norse poetry. Jesse Bycock is Professor of Icelandic and Old Norse Literature at the University of California and has published work on Medieval Iceland.

Books By Author Jesse L. Byock

Saga of the Volsungs by Jesse L. Byock

The Saga of the Volsungs

Paperback, November 2013
Grettir's Saga by Jesse L. Byock

Grettir's Saga

Paperback, June 2009
Prose Edda by Jesse L. Byock

The Prose Edda

Paperback, July 2005
Viking Age Iceland by Jesse L. Byock

Viking Age Iceland

Paperback, February 2001