If you’re looking for a good, adventure-filled read, you should give the saga of Sturlaug the Industrious a try.  It is one of the sagas of ancient times or fornaldarsögur. I first came across it through the Norse sagas page on this site which has a nice collection of the legendary sagas translated into English. This 14th century story tells the adventures of Sturlaug, the son of a Norwegian hersir. (A hersir is roughly equivalent to an English lord. He would rule over the local area but owed allegiance to the king.)

In a bit of a twist on the usual order of things, Sturlaug starts off by marrying the beautiful princess – Asa the Fair. He demands her hand in marriage as payment for fighting a duel against Kola the Crafty. Asa is fine with this and even sends Sturlaug to her foster-mother Vefreyja for help in defeating Kola. The saga has magic weapons, sorcery, shape-shifters, battles and a quest for the horn of the auroch and then the story behind the Horn’s creation. The treasure is “fair as gold to look at” but must be handled with care since it is “full of poison and sorcery.”  You should definitely check it out.

Posted by Mark Neumayer

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