The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki

Front Cover
Jesse L Byock
Penguin Books Limited, 1998 - Fiction - 98 pages
13 Reviews
Composed in medieval Iceland, Hrolf’s Saga is one of the greatest of all mythic-legendary sagas, relating half-fantastical events that were said to have occurred in fifth-century Denmark. It tells of the exploits of King Hrolf and of his famous champions, including Bodvar Bjarki, the ‘bear-warrior’: a powerful figure whose might and bear-like nature are inspired by the same legendary heritage as Beowulf. Depicting a world of wizards, sorceresses and ‘berserker’ fighters – originally members of a cult of Odin – this is a compelling tale of ancient magic. A work of timeless power and beauty, it offers both a treasury of Icelandic prose and a masterful gathering of epic, cultic memory, traditional folk tale and myths from the Viking age and far earlier.

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Review: The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki

User Review  - Patrick McFarland - Goodreads

By far, not the best of the Icelandic Sagas but nonetheless, it should included in any study of that forum. The story itself is choppy and could have been better told had much of the material in the endnotes been included as text. Still, it's relative brevity makes for a fast paced yarn. Read full review

Review: The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki

User Review  - Adam McPhee - Goodreads

"What can we do?" asked Hroar. "We are just two boys facing overwhelming odds." Spoiler: they set their uncle on fire. King Hrolf's Berserker: so you think we're equals? Strike your sword at my helmet, see if it even hurts me, motherfucker. Spolier: it don't. Read full review

About the author (1998)

Jesse Byock is a professor of Icelandic and Old Norse studies at UCLA. He is the translator of The Saga of the Volsungs and The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki for Penguin Classics.


Jesse Byock is a professor of Icelandic and Old Norse studies at UCLA. He is the translator of The Saga of the Volsungs and The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki for Penguin Classics.

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