Wednesday, 3 June 2020

#bookreview: Tales of Superhuman Powers: 55 Traditional Stories from Around the World

Tales of Superhuman Powers: 55 Traditional Stories from Around the WorldTales of Superhuman Powers: 55 Traditional Stories from Around the World by Csenge Virág Zalka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you're interested in how folk and fairy tales differ--or are the same!--around the world this is a good place to start.

The 55 tales are arranged around various superhuman powers, including shape-shifting, control of the elements, superstrength and mind-reading. Besides the tales themselves, Csenge provides some background to the stories and where they come from, as well as variants on the stories or similar stories from around the world. Being a storyteller, Csenge also includes the age the stories are appropriate for, plus adds in snippets of her experience telling these stories.

At points, the notes imply that Csenge has rewritten some of the stories, including merging several variants into a single story, or editing it down into a shorter version. I'd guess that she has also translated some of these from the original languages into English. As such, quite a few of the collected stories centre around Europe, with a focus on Hungary, but there's also a wide enough selection of stories from parts of Asia... including one from Malaysia!

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