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A Time for Trolls by Asbjornsen and Moe

A Time for Trolls: Fairy Tales from Norway
by Peter Christen Asbjornsen, Jorgen Engebresten Moe, others


I like reading fairy tales from other countries, which is why I picked this up at a BookCrossing meeting ages ago. It was an interesting mix of stories, though only a few of them actually had trolls in them. Most of the stories involved peasants or farmers, some of whom rise up to great wealth or power because of noble acts, but some of whom just use their cleverness to not die. I mean, some of them are facing trolls, after all!

Like most collections, there were some stories I enjoyed more than others. My favorite of the stories was "The Two Stepsisters" where two sisters set out on journeys. One is kind to those she meets along the way (milking the cow that begs her to do so, feeding hungry birds, etc.) and so she's able to escape a witch. The other sister... not so much and ends up having toads pouring out of her mouth. Let that be a lesson to you! "Askelad and the Silver Ducks" was an interesting one as well. Askelad steals a lot from a troll and each time the troll is angry and asks if he'll be back. Askelad says he might. The troll, who is pretty incompetent, gets angry and eats him all up. Except, as it turns out, he hasn't eaten Askelad at all but his own daughter. Don't you hate when that happens?

I truly enjoyed this glimpse at a culture and values and important messages as they're conveyed through folk/fairy tales.


Cross any good books lately?
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