Customer Reviews


8 Reviews
5 star:
 (7)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The man who gave us Thor, 1 Jun. 2014
By 
Ruth O'D (Limerick, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths (Hardcover)
You may not have heard of Snorri Sturluson, the thirteenth Century Icelandic writer, but he has had a huge impact on modern popular culture. Without him we might not have Wagner's Ring cycle, Tolkien, nor the elves, dwarves, trolls and wizards that inhabit just about every Fantasy world. And we would be short one Avenger. Everywhere you look you can see Snorri's influence. He is our main source for the Norse Myths, writing them down, reshaping, and possibly inventing parts of them in his 'Edda' and other works.

Nancy Marie Brown's book is a fascinating account of Snorri's life and of the strange, turbulent world he inhabited. For about 300 years, since it's first settlement, Iceland had been ruled by chieftains in a kind of democracy, but now it was falling within the orbit of the King of Norway, and would soon lose its independence. Snorri and his family were rich and powerful, and central to Icelandic politics during this crucial time; in fact Snorri held the important post of 'Law-Speaker' for much of his adult life.

This book is at its best when it is describing the soap opera of Snorri's family life; the rivalries, jealousies, scheming and violent feuds that tore Iceland apart. There is plenty of 'Vicious Vikings' here:- hall-burnings, raiding parties, murders and mayhem. We follow Snorri on a trip to Norway and see how the world is changing; the influence of the Church is growing and the new King of Norway is not interested in the poetry of olden times.

However, I did feel that sometimes this book was trying too hard to be clever and crowd pleasing. Snorri's writings are interspersed with his story, bringing out comparisons between the events and people of his own lifetime and the Norse heroes and gods. I would have preferred a little less of this, it felt a bit contrived, and I would have liked more clear, structured summaries of his main works. Overall, though, this is an excellent and exciting book and I found it both informative and compelling. I appreciated the final chapter dealing with the rediscovery of Norse myths, it was more interesting and complex than I imagined, and made a good story in itself. Despite her slightly 'trendy' style, it's clear the author really knows her stuff, and has a deep interest in this odd medieval world.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Song of the Vikings, 13 Feb. 2015
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths (Hardcover)
I saw this book and was utterly intrigued – Snorri Sturluson is a name that will be familiar to anyone who has made any study at all of Icelandic history, or of the sagas which are familiar to us today. His works (he is generally agreed to be the author of the ‘Edda’, ‘Heimskringla’, and ‘Egil’s Saga’) gave us the first written tales of the Gods, the Giants, the sagas that are inspiration to many authors even today. The most well-known modern use of those sagas would of course be Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, but Snorri’s writing has proved a valuable resource to any study of Norway, Iceland and the Age of the Vikings and beyond.

But Snorri was also a major figure in Iceland in his own right; landowner, chieftain multiple times over, a figure who was full of ambition and drive, who sought to shape Iceland and its history, but who also sought to shape its future in its relations with Norway. And it’s rare to find a book which covers that aspect of Snorri so thoroughly and in a manner so eminently readable.

The author has written of Snorri from his birth into the family of Hvamm-Sturla and his wife Gudny Bodvarsdottir, through his upbringing as a foster son of Jon Loftsson, his marriages, his children and his ambition, through to his untimely death. Woven into Snorri’s everyday life are the sagas of which he wrote. A most interesting man, Snorri seems to have been determined to live his life to the fullest, and to glean every advantage from every day that he can. But ultimately in doing so he made many enemies, and failed to protect those who he would later rely on. Sometimes there are parallels between Snorri’s life and the lives of some of those he wrote about – fallible, greedy, acquisitive and thoughtless gods and kings.

Utterly and wholeheartedly recommended for anybody with an interest in twelfth- and thirteenth-century Iceland, its relations with Norway, and the sagas, this life and times of Snorri Sturluson is a great read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 17 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths (Hardcover)
Saw a good review in the Guardian so bought a copy. Found the book well written and it provided a fascinating picture of Iceland and Snorri's role in its history as well as Norse myths. Not being a history professional I can't comment on the academic aspects of the book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars A Song for Snorri !, 20 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths (Hardcover)
After a delay in receiving this book, I was delighted to be able to read it.
Finely detailed , with fine detailed and relevant illustrations, the text is well worth reading and could hardly be bettered!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Fulfilled some long-held questions about the man. A scholarly ..., 17 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths (Hardcover)
Fulfilled some long-held questions about the man. A scholarly yet readable book. Norse myths have long fascinated me and this book is a valued addition to my library
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Snorri's Northern Spirit, 13 Mar. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A very well research and written book which combines a real 'Game of Thrones' Iceland power struggle which Snorri was in the middle of with a very focused review of Norse myth and the
Eddas. Also some really good work on links with Snorri's mythopeia with that of William Morris and J.R.R.
Tolkien. Highly recommend.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 28 July 2014
This review is from: Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths (Hardcover)
Great read if you like your viking history really good read
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Super Fantastic Fabulous!, 23 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths (Hardcover)
Awesome book, Excellent condition and delivery time!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths
Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths by Nancy Marie Brown (Hardcover - 8 Nov. 2012)
Used & New from: £1.93
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews