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The Songs of Power: A Finnish Tale of Magic, Retold from the Kalevala (Ancient Fantasy) [Paperback]

Aaron Shepard
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £4.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2007 Ancient Fantasy (Book 2)

A thousand years ago, in the Celtic kingdoms of Wales, great lords gave great feasts for their fighting men and courtiers. In timbered halls, for days on end, heaps of meat and bread were washed down with gallons of beer and mead. And in between the meals, when bellies were stuffed and spirits high, the storyteller rose and spun his tales of times long past.

He told of lords, bold and generous. He told of ladies, grand and glorious. He told of friends, brave and faithful. But of all he told about, no friend was more reliable than Manawydan, son of Llyr. No lady was more admirable than Rhiannon. And no lord was more honorable than Pwyll, King of Dyfed.

The halls are now long gone -- yet some tales were written down and gathered in a book we call today The Mabinogion. And so the tales live on. . . .

For ages 10 and up. Not illustrated!

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Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of "The Baker's Dozen," "The Sea King's Daughter," "The Monkey King," and many more children's books. His stories have appeared often in Cricket magazine, while his Web site is known internationally as a prime resource for folktales, storytelling, and reader's theater. Once a professional storyteller, Aaron specializes in lively retellings of folktales and other traditional literature, which have won him honors from the American Library Association, the New York Public Library, the Bank Street College of Education, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the American Folklore Society.

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"Highly recommended . . . . A brief yet exciting and exotic fable of heroes striving to make their mark and protect those most dear to them in a fantastic world." -- Children's Bookwatch (Midwest Library Review), Jan. 2007

"Written in a lyrical voice that channels the ghosts of storytellers past. . . . Great for a librarian or teacher to read to a class." -- Sheila Ruth, Wands and Worlds, Jan. 2007

"A clear, simple, beautiful retelling. Those familiar with the source material will recognise how masterly a piece of work Shepard has crafted from notoriously challenging material. . . . Best of all, the language has retained the full richness of the underlying Celtic music." -- Louise Owen, Celtic Cafe

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SAMPLE

The next day, after the midday meal, Pwyll said to Manawydan, "Let us walk again on the mount. But this time, we'll bring my horse along."

So once more they climbed the mount. And they had not sat long when they saw the same lady, in the same dress and veil, on the same horse, on the same road, coming at the same slow, steady pace.

Pwyll speedily mounted his horse, but as he reached the foot of the mount, she was already riding past the spot. Then he let his horse prance after, thinking to easily overtake her. When he did not, he gave his horse the rein. It began to trot, yet fell even farther behind. Then he spurred it to a gallop -- but at its greatest speed, it lost more ground than ever. And still the lady rode no faster than a walk.

At last his horse began to fail, and he called out, "Lady, in the name of the man you hold dearest, please halt."

"I will," she said. "And for the sake of your horse, you could have asked it sooner."


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Product details

  • Paperback: 46 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhook Press (1 Sep 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938497375
  • ISBN-13: 978-0938497370
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,034,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of numerous children's books, as well as books on reader's theater, children's writing, and publishing. He lives with his wife and fellow author, Anne L. Watson, in Friday Harbor, Washington, USA.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grandma, Brandon and Johnny 9 May 2008
Format:Paperback
The collection of "The Ancient Fantasy" series will take both adults and children into a world of folklore of long ago. In another time and country. My grandson's and myself have been reading this series and we have all enjoyed what we have read so far. We have just finished up reading "The Songs of Power". The front and back covers are enchanting. Brandon and Johnny love them. In their own words "They are Awesome". I am always delighted when we finish a book and they look again at the covers and they recognize some of the characters.

As a mom it was important to me to teach my children to enjoy reading. As a grandma I truly love to love to teach my grandchildren to enjoy literature. I highly recommend the whole series to to parents, grandparents, children and adults.

We have just finished reading "The Songs of Power" when Brandon said "Grandma my teacher says poems are just songs". So we read this book in different ways many times. We each read it to our own beats. We even tried to sing it. We each chose a song we knew and changed out the words to fit this book. I am so glad there was no one around to hear us. It is something only a grandparent could love.

I am so proud when I see the light of understanding in their eyes shine bright. Or when they have read a part without mistakes. What a blessing that is.

Mr. Shepard you are helping children to develop their own imaginations. These books hae taken my grandsons away from their video and dvd games they keep here, and that is quite an accomplishment. Especially in the world we live in now.

When I first told them I had some books coming that I thought they would enjoy was a mistake on my part. Everyday until the books arrive I was asked if I had checked my po box that day.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Shepard Book 2 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is one of his older books, but still great. Picked it up for my PaperWhite and couldn't be happier. He's always been a great writer and this is no exception. Enjoyed the unique tale told with poetry and song. I still can't pronounce the character names, but I'm trying. I've enjoyed his Ancient Fantasy series books a lot. Great cover, too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grandma, Brandon and Johnny 7 May 2008
By Sandra Heptinstall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The collection of "The Ancient Fantasy" series will take both adults and children into a world of folklore of long ago. In another time and country. My grandson's and myself have been reading this series and we have all enjoyed what we have read so far. We just finished reading "The Songs of Power". The front and back cover are enchanting. Brandon and Johnny love them. In their words again: "they are awesome". I am always delighted when we finish a book and they look again at the covers and they recognize some of the characters.

As a mom it was important to me to teach my children to enjoy reading. As a grandma I truly love to teach my grandchildren to enjoy literature. I highly recommend the whole series to parents, grandparents, any child or adult.

We had just finished reading, "The Song of Power" when Brandon said "Grandma my teacher says poems are just songs". So we read this book in different ways many times. We each read it to our own beats. We even tried to sing it. We each chose a song we knew and changed out the words to fit the book. I am so glad there was no one around to hear us. It is something only a grandparent could love.

I am so proud when I see the light of understanding in their eyes shine. Or when they have read a part without mistakes. What a blessing for me.

Mr Shepard you are helping children to develop their own imaginations. These books have taken my grandson's away from their video and dvd games they keep here, and that is quite an accomplishment. Especially in the world we live in now.

When I first told them I had some books coming that I thought they would enjoy was a mistake on my part. Every day until the books arrived I was asked if I had check my po box that day. When the books finally arrived I waited and let them open the box. We looked at the books and then at each other and knew these books would be different than any we had read before.

Thank you once again, and as my grandson's say this is another five star book. They think your books get better and better as they read each one. I say their minds have opened up more and more.

Sandra Heptinstall
Brandon Heptinstall
Johnnie Heptinstall
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs of Power 23 July 2012
By Karen Hopkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this to be a simple but interesting recounting of Finnish myths. It was written for children but is not childish. I enjoyed the myths and would buy more books of similar stories
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "But who can make a woman's warmth?" 17 July 2013
By J. Chambers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have to admit that I haven't read much Finnish literature, and I knew nothing of the epic Kalevala. After having read Aaron Shepard's version of one of the stories, I see what I've missed. The tale of Vainamoinen and Joukahainen vying for the maiden Aila's hand, while her mother Louhi tries to get the better of the two suitors, is a great story, full of action and magic. In the end, it's about who outsmarts who, and will they live to tell the tale.

The free verse format used by the author to present the story is easy to read. And don't overlook the "About the Story" at the end. It's a fascinating look at the background of the story. I noticed that the story is listed for ten-year-olds and up. "Up" definitely includes adults. I enjoyed the story very much.

A very good introduction to the Kalevala.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 22 Jun 2012
By Michael Burke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Marvelous explanation and retelleing of the Kalevala, the Finnish epic poem/tale of myths and heroes. A wonderful read whether or not you have experienced the Kelevala. The Worlds-Beginning tale was put together in the 18th century from a number of sources to make meaningful the childhood stories everyone told their children during the long dark nights. As a Finn, I enjoyed it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An almost free kindle book that children will find to be fascinating 15 Oct 2013
By Israel Drazin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is another almost free kindle book in which Shepard retells a foreign tale that children will enjoy. It is the story of two powerful men who court a young - under age 15 - beautiful girl whose mother states that the girl will consider the proposal of the one who is able to bring a gift that has never been seen before. The story is filled with magic.
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