In the old Norse world, King Hrolf served as a symbol of courage, Sharing rich oral traditions with the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, Hrolf's Saga recounts the tragedy of strife within Denmark's royal hall. It tells of powerful women and the exploits of Hrolf's famous champions- including Bodvar Bjarki, the' bear-warrior', who strikenly resembles Beowulf, Combining heroic legend, myth and magic, Hrolf's Saga is full of wizards, sorceresses, and 'berserkers' fighters, originally members of a cult of Odin. Most startling is the central love triangle: Hrolf's father, a man of insatiable appetites, unknowingly abducts his daughter, who later marries the despised sorcerer King Adils of Sweden.
Composed in medieval Iceland, Hrolf's Saga is one of the greatest of all mythic-legendary sagas, relating half-fantastical events that were said to have occurred in fifth-century Denmark. It tells of the exploits of King Hrolf and of his famous champions, including Bodvar Bjarki, the 'bear-warrior': a powerful figure whose might and bear-like nature are inspired by the same legendary heritage as Beowulf. Depicting a world of wizards, sorceresses and 'berserker' fighters - originally members of a cult of Odin - this is a compelling tale of ancient magic. A work of timeless power and beauty, it offers both a treasury of Icelandic prose and a masterful gathering of epic, cultic memory, traditional folk tale and myths from the Viking age and far earlier.
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Jesse Byock has also translated the Saga of Volsungs, published by Penguin.
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