Sagas! - delta_november
Dec. 30th, 2014
05:16 pm - Sagas!
I have always had a soft spot for the Icelandic Sagas, since I first read Egil's Saga in a stained-glass sunbeam in The Treehouse almost twenty years ago. Yesterday, sitting in the ER, I read Kormak's Saga. It does not disappoint, and I would suggest it to anyone looking to explore the roots of contemporary fiction.
Kormak's Saga (aka Cormac in my translation) is a gonzo blend of The Princess Bride and Chasing Amy. It has, in no particular order:
- Skirmishes involving a couple dozen fighters that cry out for miniatures wargames recreations
- Formal duels, where the fighters take turns breaking each other's shields with swords and axes
- Magic swords with complex care-and-feeding instructions
- That guy who keeps on showing up uninvited to your mead-hall to chat up your wife
- The scuttling of a great many boats
- Very much poetry, spoken while waving swords around, that shows you what a D&D bard should be about
- Debt collection
- Depictions of rights of women that may be at odds with your viking preconceptions, including no-fault divorce.
The saga has been out of copyright for 800 years, and so various translations can be downloaded for free. You can also read a fun abridgement here at Sagas for the Impatient. This will make you a better person, with far less of a personal time commitment than Proust.