Styrbiorn the Strong

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Styrbiorn the Strong
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E. R. Eddison’s classic saga novel now in paperback—includes for the first time Eddison’s remarkable letter of introduction and his unabridged closing note

Styrbiorn the Strong tells the grand tale of Styrbiorn Olafsson, heir to the Swedish throne and known both for his impressive size and strength and his unruly, quarrelsome nature. Denied his birthright and exiled from Sweden, Styrbiorn becomes the leader of the Jomsvikings and sets out to reclaim the Swedish throne in the epic Battle of Fýrisvellir. A rediscovered classic, Styrbiorn the Strong is a tale reminiscent of the Old Norse sagas, a historical novel from one of the twentieth century’s most influential masters of fantasy.

Egil’s Saga

Egil’s Saga
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Egil’s Saga is the 10th-century Nordic equivalent of The Iliad and The Odyssey. Translated from the Icelandic with
an introduction, notes and an essay, this is the first time Eddison’s version of this epic heroic saga has been made available as a digital book.

The saga of Egil, son of Grim the Bald, tells the exciting tale of a medieval warrior-poet and his many Viking adventures. Challenged by his ugly appearance and haunted by rumours that his grandfather was a werewolf, Egil devotes himself to Odin, god of kings, warriors and poets, and determines to avenge his father’s exile from Norway. With action ranging across Iceland and Scandinavia down to Scotland and England, Egil’s thrilling encounters include kings, sorcerers, berserkers and outlaws, as the story follows his transformation from youthful savagery to mature wisdom.

Sometimes considered the greatest of the Icelandic sagas, Egil’s Saga is the 10th-century Nordic equivalent of The Iliad and The Odyssey. Eddison’s acclaimed translation, published in 1930, has been long unavailable, and demonstrates the author’s amazing capacity for evocative and erudite language. It reflects the swift dramatic terseness and vivid character-drawing which made the saga style in prose narrative such an enduring model for modern historical and fantasy literature, and his meticulous translation includes elaborate notes and annotations.

The Complete Zimiamvia trilogy (Zimiamvia)

The Complete Zimiamvia trilogy (Zimiamvia)
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The classic epic trilogy of parallel worlds, admired by Tolkien and the great prototype for The Lord of the Rings and modern fantasy fiction. Also includes The Worm Ouroboros.

When Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was published, reviewers saw that there was only one author with whom he could legitimately be compared: Eric Rucker Eddison (1882-1945). He met both Tolkien and Lewis, and was cited by both as the game-changer in fantastic literature and a key influence on them. His two principal works – the sprawling and opulent fantasy trilogy Zimiamvia (which has been favourably compared to Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast) and the earlier hedonistic The Worm Ouroboros (a cross between H.P. Lovecraft and Lord Dunsany) – put Eddison up among the masters of his craft. Admirers including Ursula Le Guin, Robert Silverberg and Clive Barker have all lined up to praise his books.

This complete eBook edition includes the three books of the Zimiamvia Trilogy – Mistress of Mistresses, A Fish Dinner in Memison, and The Mezentian Gate, together with the epic prelude novel The Worm Ouroboros.

The Worm Ouroboros

The Worm Ouroboros
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E.R. Edison’s The Worm Ouroboros inspired the epic-fantasy writers that followed him. This production is of the first edition (1922).

The Lords of Demonland are celebrating Lord Juss’s birthday when an envoy arrives from Witchland. He brings demands from King Gorice XI of Witchland that the Lords of Demonland “kiss his toe, and acknowledge him to be their King and they, his ill-conditioned, disobedient children”. The Lords of Demonland reject this utterly and, to settle the matter, they challenge King Gorice to a wrestling match against their champion, Lord Goldry Bluszco.

But the situation is worsened by the result of that match and ultimately, war is declared. A war that includes dark magic, sorcery, quests, mystical lands, and heroic high-adventure. Ursula K. Le Guin called it “An eccentric masterpiece”, C. S. Lewis said it represented “A new climate of the imagination”, Orville Prescott said it was “A literary event of the first order.”

Critics compared Tolkien’s writing to it when he first published The Lord of the Rings and he freely acknowledged its influence. Eddison writes his narrative in a lyrical, medieval style and in the tradition of Norse mythology, Arthurian myths, and Greek tragedy. In his short dedication he says, “It is neither allegory nor fable but a story to be read for its own sake”, however, the theme of repetition (the cyclical nature of life, history, and war), is undeniable. The “worm (serpent or dragon) Ouroboros” is, after all, “The serpent which eats its own tail”.