Title: The Story of Sigurd the Dragonslayer (Tales from the Volsunga Saga Book 2)
Author: Liam G Martin
Publication Date: January 24, 2022
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure, Historical
Length: 35 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 5 Stars
The Story of Sigurđ the Dragonslayer is part of The Tales from the Volsunga Saga series which retells some of the stories from the Volsunga Saga. The Volsunga saga is a legendary old Norse text that was written in Iceland around 1250 AD.
In The Story of Sigurđ the Dragonslayer, you’ll read about the early life of Sigurđ, one of the greatest heroes of Norse mythology.
Content Warning: death of parents and a murder. All of the deaths were described briefly and without graphic details included in them.
Becoming a hero includes plenty of hard work. Nothing is guaranteed for anyone.
Mythology has always expected a lot of its audience. Not only did the author take his time explaining who certain characters were, the narrator shared lessons about perseverance, duty, honour, and vengeance that the audience was expected to digest for themselves. Sigurd had far too much on his plate to spell things out simply for us, but that’s exactly what I always hope to find in the stories I read. If people of different ages can interpret the same scenes in somewhat different ways, that means that it will take a long time for anyone to fully understand the ideas that thrive there.
Like many traditional myths, this one never had a good stopping point. I finished the last page wishing the author had written more even though Sigurd was technically an adult at that point and the narrator no longer had the excuse of describing this character’s early life in order to keep things going. This is the sort of reaction I always love to discover in myself. Leaving the audience yearning for the next scene is an excellent way to keep readers coming back for another instalment, after all.
The conflict and violence was handled beautifully. While this isn’t a sanitized and twenty-first century myth, it also didn’t include any gratuitous violence. The deaths that occurred were necessary in order for the plot to move forward, and those scenes were written tactfully and simply. Sigurd’s adventures were what really mattered, so I was pleased to see how steadily that portion of his life remained the focus of the plot. Creating this balance in retellings of tales from eras of human history when the expectations for family entertainment were quite different isn’t easy, and I commend the author for pulling it off so well.
It’s helpful, but not strictly necessary, to have a basic familiarity with Norse mythology before reading this book. The important stuff will be explained eventually, but recognizing the major gods and other figures in these tales will help to speed up the process for anyone who prefers to figure out who everyone was immediately.
This is also part of a series, but it functioned perfectly nicely as a standalone work.
The Story of Sigurd the Dragonslayer was a wild ride that I wish I’d taken sooner.