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This review is from: Egil's Saga (Penguin Classics) (Kindle Edition)
Egil, the Troll-like figure, rough, outsized and violent epitomises the warrior poet. As he recounts, in verse (song) his exploits with an egotistic verve be see beyond the "thug" and glimpse a highly sophisticated, fearless man of deep sympathies and with a defined sense of honour and justice. His presence dominates the Saga and the reader is teased into extending their reading beyond this Saga to others, such as Nyal's Saga and beyond. Many are great but none have the resonance of Egil. In his character comprises the best and worst of the warrior nation. Many of the Sagas refer to the gargantuan feats of their heroes such that one might be drawn to conclude these references to be at best hyperbole, but often modern events have proved this feats to be true. Egil the spiritual, crapulent, the warrior poet, the lawyer, friend, enemy and lover - all these contradictions are poised so well in Egil the man. Many years after his death when an outsized skull was found near the site where Egil fell, and another celebrity of the era (Snorri the Priest) laid fall his axe upon it with enormous force - the skull turned a milky white, no more than that, almost as if Egil, larger than life, defiant beyond the grave laid bare his challenge.