Hrolf Kraki's Saga
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Hrolf Kraki's Saga

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  216 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Poul Anderson has long been known for his love affair with the legends and myths of the great Norse heroes. Coordinating, translating, re-telling the scattered heroic literature could only be the work of a scholar and a lover of the genre. That Mr. Anderson also happens to be a talented writer is our great good luck. Ballantine Books Adult Fantasy Series is proud to presen...more
Mass Market Paperback, 261 pages
Published October 1973 by Ballantine
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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienMagician by Raymond E. FeistLegend by David Gemmell
Best Heroic Fantasy
69th out of 421 books — 601 voters
The Prose Edda by Snorri SturlusonRunemarks by Joanne HarrisEaters of the Dead by Michael CrichtonThe Poetic Edda by AnonymousThe Norse Myths by Kevin Crossley-Holland
Norse Mythology
40th out of 123 books — 244 voters

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Apr 02, 2012 Terry rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of Nordic myth
I find Poul Anderson pretty uneven. I tend to either really like his books, or be left cold by them. I also tend to enjoy his fantasy much more than his science fiction (for which he is probably better known). This book is obviously in the former camp. For my money it's probably his best book (even better than _The Broken Sword_ or _Three Hearts & Three Lions_ which mine a similar vein). In essence this is a novelisation of the fragmentary saga tales of the Danish King Hrolf Kraki. Pulling t...more
Poul Anderson's retelling of Hrolf Kraki's Saga didn't fill me with an obsessive enthusiasm like Three Hearts and Three Lions did, or like The Broken Sword did. Part of that is my familiarity with the story, I think: Three Hearts and Three Lions and The Broken Sword surprised me. Hrolf Kraki's Saga is relatively faithful to its source material, even near-quoting it in places, though it puts more flesh on the rather spare saga-style of the original versions, and gets further into characters' feel...more
Chris Duval
The text is a compromise between evoking the old and resembling it:
--"...for he's the most bold, wise, openhanded and splendid of kings in the Northlands. More did he have to say, until Bjarki agreed." The old would have gone on at length, even if it were repeating previous information
--Motivations are given by narrator-psych interpreters, a modern custom, but the interpretation is shallow (and the author chose--see his introduction). And he does not neglect using the pre-modern: motives given b...more
Robin Hobb
This translation of Hrolf Kraki's saga was given to me as a battered paperback by a friend I'd only met once at that time. I was sitting in a Shari's restaurant with my family, celebrating a baptism, when Sean Glenn walked up to me and handed me a book. "You'll like this," he told me.

Oh, and I did I.

This is a tale that tells you what the characters did, and what happened. It is up to the reader to supply what they felt and what they thought. For me, that meant it was a total immersion experienc...more
This is the telling of the tale of Hrolf, legendary King of Denmark. The first third actually deals with his ancestors and how he came to be king. The book then tells the tale of his life and death. I used to read almost exclusively science fiction and fantasy so this was really just a piece of candy after all the "real" literature I've been reading lately. Not one of the best, but a nice interlude.

Kevin Futers
A faithful re-telling of the original story, largely following the saga of the same name with additional material and revisions drawn from Old English and Scandinavian poetry and prose stories.

The style is a little heavy going at times but the modern retelling gains from the original in the more careful introduction of secondary characters whose familiarity to the original audience has been lost over the centuries.
This was a book that kindled my interest in Asatru. It is a fictionalize account of Danish mythology about the Vikings and the life of one of their leaders.

It's well written, short and makes you crave more information. Poul Anderson was one of the best at fictionalized history.
A great retelling of the myth of the tragic Viking King. Dark, sad and beautiful. Desperate battles, bitter feuds, doomed love and the end of everything.
Mike (the Paladin)
An attempt at modern "saga" from a female (apparently) bard or skald. It didn't make a big impression on me, but was well liked when it came out.
Another outstanding heroic fantasy.
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Pseudonym A. A. Craig, Michael Karageorge, Winston P. Sanders, P. A. Kingsley.

Poul William Anderson was an American science fiction author who began his career during one of the Golden Ages of the genre and continued to write and remain popular into the 21st century. Anderson also authored several works of fantasy, historical novels, and a prodigious number of short stories. He received numerous a...more
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