Title: East of the Sun and West of the Moon and Other Tales
Author: Collected by P.C. Asbjornsen and Jorgen E. Moe
What it's about: We've got twelve Norwegian folk tales in this collection: "East of the Sun and West of the Moon," "The Three Billy Goats Gruff," "The Husband Who Was to Mind the House," "The Lad Who Went to the North Wind," "The Princess on the Glass Hill," "The Giant Who Had No Heart in His Body," "The Blue Belt," "The Three Princesses of Whiteland," "Soria Moria Castle," "The Three Princesses in the Blue Mountain," "The Cat of Dovrefell," and "The Widow's Son."
What I thought: These tales are all really similar. Lots of repetition of things in threes, lots of youngest sons and youngest princesses, rings, wishes, and trolls. "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" is pretty interesting for having a female heroine, and it makes me want to read East as one of my next novels. "The Giant Who Had No Heart in His Body" was another one I liked. It had some neat elements, like the giant hiding his heart (something we also see in Paper Mario) and the prince befriending various animals who help him. I liked "The Blue Belt," too. "The Three Princesses in the Blue Mountain" is probably my favorite out of this collection, though, because of the world under the mountain. The whole collection, though, suffers from the traditional method of storytelling which focuses more on events than characterization.
Overall: A good collection of stories, if not the most engrossing.