The Guardians of Iceland and other Icelandic Folk Tales

This book is a collection of twenty-six short stories from Icelandic folklore. These Icelandic fairy tales and legends originate from the days of the Vikings when they told stories of trolls, magic, Hidden People, and creatures from the sea. The Guardians of Iceland is an old tale of the four powerful beings who protect Iceland from invaders, like the wizard who tried to spy for the King of Demark who was planning to attack Iceland. Many stories are about trolls, who wander the country, but only after dark, because cannot be exposed to sunlight or they will be turned into stone, like the Three Trolls of Vik and the Trolls of the West Fjords. One of the most famous trolls in all of Iceland is Gryla, a fierce and terrifying creature who is constantly on the hunt for the key ingredient to her famous dish – Bad Kids Stew. She is accompanied by the equally wicked Christmas Cat, who does not have any holiday spirit.

The Children’s Book review writes, “While each story stands alone, they vary in length from very short tales to longer ones, with established characters and more intricate events.  Iceland as the backdrop to all the folktales, with Heidi Herman describing vivid landscapes and scenes that deftly transport readers to the time and place of each story. Readers will feel the cold, harsh winters and see the rugged Icelandic mountains as they enjoy stories of trolls, mermen, and Hidden People.”