Gudrun Björk Gudsteins, an English Professor from the University of Iceland, reviews David Arnason's Baldur's Song in U of M's Canadian Ethnic Studies Journal, Volume 43-44. Gudsteins appreciates Arnason's fantastical take on historical events, writing that, "above all this [novel] is the saga of the rebirth or revival of the “family” of Icelanders in their new homeland" and that "Baldur’s Song is an ode to the joys and opportunities and bountiful rewards of the new world."
Arnason's tendency towards mythic and fairy-tale-esque storytelling excites Gudsteins, who writes:
"This book is strongly recommended to readers who think history is dull. People who do not want to be charmed and entertained by flamboyant exaggerations, verbal incongruities and quiet ironies should, however, avoid this book because even second reading may bring out a smile or a chuckle."
Read the full review in Canadian Ethnic Studies, Volume 43-44: http://umanitoba.ca/publications/ces/
David Arnason is an acclaimed novelist, writer of short fiction, and editor. A finalist for the Leacock Medal for Humour (King Jerry) and a winner of the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award (The Imagined City), David has taught at the University of Manitoba since 1972. He has served as both the acting head of the Department of Icelandic Studies and head of the Department of English. Currently, he lives and writes in Gimli, MB.
Blessed with an ear for music and a fine voice, Baldur finds his fortune but not his love. Smitten at an early age, Baldur is haunted by Lara—a girl of fey spirit destined to be both his muse and tormenter. The daughter of an intimidating and well-connected businessman, Lara leads Baldur from the small Manitoba community of New Iceland to the bustling streets of early twentieth-century Winnipeg. Along the way Baldur is befriended by a young Johnny Ashdown and together they cash in on the boom days of Canada’s early west.
In this modern Icelandic saga, Baldur is buffeted by chance and opportunity in a competitive, unforgiving new world, seeking his one true love.