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Warrior Lore

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  45 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Warrior Lore is the second collection of Scandinavian folk ballads translated into English verse by Ian Cumpstey, following Lord Peter and Little Kerstin. These narrative ballads were part of an oral tradition in Scandinavia, and were first written down around 1600. Included in this book are stories of heroes and fighters, Vikings, and trolls.

The legendary hero Widrick Wa
ebook, 76 pages
Published May 2nd 2014 by Skadi Press (first published February 1st 2014)
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3.96  · 
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Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a lot of fun to read. It's a collection of medieval Scandinavian folk ballads. The translator did his best to make the ballads understandable and to replicate the rhythm and rhyming scheme as much as possible in translation. I've never read anything like this before and I found it quite delightful. I also enjoyed the allusions to Norse myths, such as the Volundarkvitha and the Thrymskvitha from The Poetic Edda.
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A beautiful collection of sixteenth century Scandinavian folk ballads wonderfully translated by Cumpstey. Detail information provided adding to the impact of individual ballads.

Ten ballads, all varied offering warrior strength, melancholy, and humor as well. You’ll be engrossed with heroes, royalty, and even romance. No worries, cross dressing Thor is included in the collection.

Lovers of mythology and folk tales, will enjoy this collection from a very competent translator, Ian Cumpstey.
Very, very enjoyable!

I'm a bit of a geek about Scandinavian folklore, so this was quite a treat.

See my full review here:

Poetry is not really my thing, but this ticked off one of the boxes for my Book Riot Read Harder Challenge for 2017. I actually liked it more than I thought I would, but I can't say that I will make poetry reading part of my regular rotation. I did enjoy some of the stories in this collection though.
J.B. Garner
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

One of the things I am starting to appreciate as a reviewer and connoisseur of fine literary fare is the wide variety of foods that I find sent to my doorstep. Today’s meal is one of those outliers beyond my normal meals and I appreciate it having shown up on my dinner plate. Now, as always, let’s get the ground rules out of the way:

I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre.
I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible.

Parrish Lantern
Warrior Lore is a collection of Scandinavian folk ballads, translated by Ian Cumpstey. They would have formed part of the oral tradition of storytelling that has probably been part of human nature from the very early days of speech, with our ancestors huddled around open fires gaining an understanding of the world around them, expressing their fears, their beliefs, and their ideals of heroism through the recasting of their experiences in this narrative form. These narrative songs would have been ...more
S.J.A. Turney
Feb 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something a bit different for you tonight. Something a little removed from the usual historical fiction. Scandinavian history is one of my more peripheral hobbies, rather than something I focus on. I have a basic grasp of the history and the lore, and I love the 13th warrior and The Vikings. I enjoyed the novels by Giles Kristian and Rob Low. And I loved running my fingers over the carvings of Viking names in the Haghia Sophia in Istanbul. But really, all that is VIKING stuff. Scandinavian, yes, ...more
Larry Eissler
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Warrior Lore: Scandinavian Ballads was published by author Ian Cumpstey in May of 2014. Warrior Lore is a book that's written exactly as it sounds, a book containing songs and ballads of Scandinavian descent. Some ballads contain figures that most people will identify with (such as Sigurd and Thor), while others contain new heroes to delight ourselves with.

I'd like to thank Mr. Cumpstey for asking me to review his book and let him know that I found the ballads delightful. Warrior Lore is Mr. Cum
Clay Haase
Dec 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review brought by Geekly Review

‘Warrior Lore’, by Ian Cumpstey, is a collection of translated Scandinavian folk songs first written in the 1600s. This particular review concerns the ebook version, and as such I can’t comment on how the paperback version is (though I plan on purchasing it soon to see how it is).

The folk songs detail various stories of Scadinavian lore and folklore; numbering ten in total, and are presented in the form of ballads in lyrical format of varying lengths. The enjoyme
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kaman, Kelsey Fast, Poetry lovers.
Recommended to Margaret by: Ian Cumpstey
Being a Scandinavian-Canadian has its’ perks. One of those perks was initial familiarity with the subject matter of Ian Cumpstey’s translative poetic work Warrior Lore, published in 2014 by Skaldi Press. Receiving Warrior Lore fed my eyes with the soft and calming watercolour art of a Smith at work in a cerulean-tinted landscape. It promised the familiar brush strokes of solid story and gripping meter and in no place has Cumpstey disappointed.

Scandinavian Poetry is resplendent with sweeping tal
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Here are seven reasons why...

1. The translated lyrics flow smoothly, with a feeling of great simplicity -- which no doubt took lots of skill and effort to cultivate! Translator Ian Cumpstey spent eight years in Sweden, where he absorbed the language and marveled at the integration of music into daily life.

2. The lyrics themselves are front and center. Short intros to each ballad enhanced my appreciation without overburdening me (a casual reader) with scholarly detail: Cumpstey provide
Patrick Murtha
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a thoroughly delightful book this is. Ian Cumpstey, a chemist and litterateur from the Northwest of England who spent a number of years living in Sweden, set himself the challenge in this and his earlier volume, Lord Peter and Little Kerstin: Medieval Ballads from Sweden, of conveying the energy and entertainment of medieval Scandinavian ballad poetry in vigorous, accessible, popular language. He has thoroughly succeeded in this goal.

In his Preface, Cumpstey situates these ballads at the in
Amy (Lost in a Good Book)
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Note: I was provided with a copy of this book for review.

This collection is a translation of numerous Scandinavian ballads going back to the 1600s in written form, and much farther in the oral tradition. They tell stories of Viking battles, fights for ladies hands, and battles against mountain trolls. The ballads themselves are not very long and with only ten in the collection this is a fairly quick read.

Cumpstey explains beforehand what each ballad is about and yet this does not ruin the readin
Sep 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Synopsis: When I first started writing this review, I was struggling with what all to include for the synopsis. I looked at the official blurb, again, and decided I would let it do the writing.

Cover Art: This is one of the illustrations that accompanies the text in Warrior Lore. I took a look at some of the other illustrations from the book that are on Ian Cumpstey’s website and am impressed. Granted, the illustrations are not Van Gogh, Rembrandt, or Warhol, but for me, they sure fit with the b
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Warrior Lore' is a compilation of Scandinavian ballads translated by Ian Cumpstey. He has used various sources in order to render a modern and beautiful English translation of the ballads.

This compilation has been created for the general public, and Cumpstey has certainly achieved his goal. In preparation for this review I researched other English translations of each ballad in order to determine its level of readability. After searching, I found there were not many English translations of thes
Marian Thorpe
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
'There shone out from the twelfth shield,
A raven, all in brown.
That carried Richard Ravengarth,
For rhymes and runes he's known.'

When Ian Cumpstey offered me his book Warrior Lore, translations of Scandinavian folk ballads, for review, I was both intrigued and excited. Intrigued, because I know very little about Scandinavian ballads, and excited, because these exact ballads are important to the book I'm currently writing.

Warrior Lore is a fine introduction to these ballads and to some of the he
Sep 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warrior Lore by Ian Cumpstey is a collection of translated Scandinavian folk songs first written in the sixteen hundreds. They detail several episodes of the more marital lore of Scandinavian folklore. I stayed up late one night and read all ten stories out loud, which I think is how everyone should experience them. The only improvement could be if I had been sitting in front or a fine on a winter night.

The stories themselves are entertaining, and include everything from quests to prove one's f
Eisah Eisah
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Aaron
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Scandinavian folklore and mythology is a guilty pleasure of mine. I tend to lean towards Norse mythology, so naturally when I saw the name “Thor” I was curious. Of course, the cross dressing part gave me pause. It wasn’t the taboo topic that it seems to be today, but it’s enough of a spin for the character that the ballad was written in the first place.

My curiosity piqued, I dove into the book; which is essentially an essay of Scandinavian ballads translated with brief synopsis and author interp
Apr 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. On my blog, it received a 3.5.)

I accepted this story for review because I liked the subject matter, at least in terms of geography, but after reading it, I’m not sure I feel like the most qualified person to review this type of thing. I don’t read many old folk tales and related translations, or much poetry of any sort.

Further, I’m not reviewing the author’s work as much since the true focus is on things written long ago by many others
Saradia Chatterjee
Warrior Lore is an excellent collection of Scandinavian ballads. Brilliantly translated by Ian Cumpstey, the ballads primarily encompass the theme of warfare. There are 10 ballads. Some of them like “Widrick Waylandsson’s fight with Long-Ben Reyser “and “Heming and the Mountain troll” concern the hero’s battle with monstrous figures. Some ballads speak of young maidens and their trysts with Knights of their fathers’ courts while some others like “The cloister raid” document the exploitation of a ...more
Rebecca Foster
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These ballads are fun! Sure, they're written in a lyrical format, and sure, they require me to think a wee bit harder than an ebook normally requires, but these ballads are packed with action. I mean,
Freya got so angry that blood shot out of her fingertips!

Seriously. Exciting stuff!

There were a couple of lines that didn't quite seem to work, but Cumpstey was sure to keep the poetic style flowing smoothly, to the point that I wished I could hear these ballads sung. I'm not normally one for ballad
Reading Bifrost
Jun 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: mythology, ballad

The hardest thing to do when translating ballads into another language is trying to keep the rhyme and rhythm of the ballad without losing the original meanings during the translations. Ian Cumpstey’s little collective of Scandinavian ballads, Warrior Lore, mostly finds a comfortable medium between the two.

Before each ballad, Cumpstey takes time to introduce the story and the characters involved; taking time to explain the different ways the names may be spelled o
Ingrid Hall
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book only came in for review around 1 week ago, and I knew that I had to get to it A.S.A.P. My first novel, Granny Irene's Guide to the Afterlife was heavily rooted in Norse Mythology, and while the Scandinavian Folk Ballads do not have such an emphasis on the ancient mythology, it is nevertheless, an area that completely enthralls me.

Anyone who has ever tried to trawl their way through a translation of The Poetic Edda and Prose Edda will know that it is at best hard-going and at times inac
Nikki Bennett
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warrior Lore is a short collection of ten Scandinavian folk ballads translated into English by Ian Cumpstey. Compstey interjects a bit of background before each translation, which helps folks like me who know almost nothing about Scandinavian mythology, although the poems themselves are so clear the notes almost aren't needed. The poems are simple to read and understand, and I enjoyed reading them.

This is saying something because I am not a person who normally enjoys reading poetry. I always ski
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for a honest review**

This book of ballads was interesting and entertaining. My favorites being Hilla-Lill and The Cloister Raid. I read this in one sitting and I did not put it down once. It was a really quick read for me as well. Although the format was weird since before you got to the ballads, Cumpstey gives a description of the story and how it results. That happened to be the one thing I was not a fan of. Since the description told a brief summ
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, lore, legends
Warrior Lore is a set of translated Scandanavian folk tales. It is a short ebook, coming in at 41 pages on my ereader, but it is worth it.

I will admit that I wouldn't normally accept translated folk tales for review purposes, but I was intrigued by the premise and dived into them at the first opportunity. Ian Cumpstey has taken a very academic approach to this work. Rather than just translate each story and shove them down on paper, he has taken the time and trouble to place an introductory segm
Mike Siedschlag
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warrior Lore was provided to me by author Ian Cumpstey in exchange for an honest review. Lucky for him, it's the only kind I write!

Warrior Lore is a collection of English translations of Scandinavian/Norse Mythology and epic poetry. Being of German descent, I was immediately interested in reading this work.

The collection obviously represents a tremendous amount of work. Translating with an eye to maintaining the integrity of the original seems to me to be a true labor of love.

Author Cumpstey is
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
This collection of Scandinavian ballads presents many heroes, those who triumphed and those who ended in tragedy. These kinds of ballads, with larger than life heroes (and a few villains) and a rhyme scheme that keeps the story flowing, entertain whether read silently or aloud. I will throw in a weird detail: I had listened to "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" just before beginning reading this collection, and somehow the synergy really worked. The rhythm of a ballad, though a quirky Warren ...more
Celia Kennedy
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a college student I took a class in the evolution of language and it's linguistic origins. I found it thoroughly fascinating, because not only did we learn what words were absorbed into the melting pot of the English language, we also learned their place in the vernacular structure.

Mr. Cumpstey has taken a collection of Scandinavian folk tales and ballads, and has translated them poetically. An explanation preceding each tale/ballad helps the reader understand the context of the story, which
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Goodreads Librari...: Warrior Lore -- addition of paperback edition 3 11 Jun 23, 2014 03:36AM  

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Ian Cumpstey lived and worked in Sweden for eight years. He has now returned to England, and lives in Cumbria. He is an associate member of the Swedish to English literary translators association. He has published three collections of translations of Scandinavian folk ballads: Lord Peter and Little Kerstin (2013), Warrior Lore (2014), and The Faraway North (2016).