The greatest of the Icelandic sagas - a 10th century Nordic Odyssey!
Egil's Saga is the tale of the long and brutal life of Egil Skallagrimsson, the tenth-century warrior-poet: a morally ambiguous character who was both the composer of intricately beautiful poetry and a physical grotesque capable of staggering brutality. It recounts Egil's progression from youthful savagery to mature wisdom as he struggles to avenge his father's exile from Norway, defend his honour against the Norwegian King Erik Bloodaxe, and fight for the English King Athelstan in his battles against Scotland.
Translated from Icelandic by the great fantasist, E R Eddison, and accounted by many to be the greatest of the Icelandic sagas, Egil's Saga is a fascinating depiction of a deeply human character.
The greatest and most convincing writer of invented worlds that I have read
Eddison is unequalled in the vigour, the vividness, and the passionate intensity of his imagining, the brooding sadness that underlies it, and the magnificence of his language - a truly strange and wonderful fantasy world
E R Eddison (1882-1945)
Eric Rucker Eddison was born in Leeds in 1882 and was schooled by private tutors along with a young Arthur Ransome. He was later educated at Eton and Oxford, becoming a high-ranking British civil servant. His earlier 20th-century novels - most famously The Worm Ouroboros - influenced many of the great fantasy writers who followed him, such as JRR Tolkien, Ursula K. LeGuin and Michael Moorcock. After retiring from the civil service, he lived in Marlborough, Wiltshire until his death in 1945.