- Book: “A Traveller’s Guide to Icelandic Folk Tales”
- Author: Jón R. Hjálmarsson
- Publisher: Forlagid, 2016
What comes to mind when you think of Iceland? Is it the picture perfect, supremely exciting Blue Lagoon? Is it the magnificent and potentially destructive volcanoes, capable of shutting down the entire air traffic over the European continent for a number of days? Or is it the notoriously cold, windy days that stretch for 9 to 10 months at a time? Whatever it is for you, there is one thing that will forever stay true for Iceland, and that is the fact that this land will always surprise you, no matter how many times you visit it, or even how much time you spend on this icy island.
However, if you do want to get to know this beautiful nation a little bit better – you can start by reading some of the local, ancient legends that Iceland is so full of. In case you didn’t know it yet – this is the country that believes in… elves, trolls, monsters, and ghosts among other supernatural things.
This particular book is a nice compilation of short stories, tales, superstitions, and beliefs of Icelandic people. What’s unique about this book is that every story is preceded by a short introduction to the region and the place where the given story is set. Therefore, this book could be a perfect companion for a country wide road-trip where you can not only find out more about the history and the description of the region where you are heading to, but also learn a short legend or two associated with a place that will provide more depth to your experience.
This book was not meant to scare you or to make you lose your sleep at night, but to rather introduce you to the genuine Icelandic cultural legends behind each tale that’s included here. Iceland is a country of mysteries, where many people still believe in elves and trolls to this day. So if you’d like to lift a small corner of the veil that covers this country – start with finding out a bit more about the native beliefs, and you will quickly discover that the Icelanders themselves will greatly appreciate all your efforts.