This fictional tale takes place in the realm of Norse legend, where Odin rules the nine worlds, inhabited by light-elves, dwarves, humans, sea-nymphs, giants and dragons. The dwarf Albric steals the enchanted gold nugget guarded by the sea-nymphs, and has it made into a ring of great power. But when Odin steals it from him, the dwarf puts a curse on it that whoever owns it "will gain his heart's desire, and it will turn bitter as gall in his mouth. . . and the one gift of the ring will be death."
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Fafnir,a giant transformed into a dragon, wins the ring next, and kills his brother fighting over it. Odin desires the ring, since it is the only thing that can help him survive Ragnarok, the coming war to destroy the worlds. But he has sworn an oath not to try to regain it himself; only someone with no allegiance to gods or men can regain it. So Odin plots to create a hero outside the bounds of law, and involves the tribe of the Volsungs in his schemes. We follow the tragic plight of the outlawed Volsung Sigmund and his twin sister Siglinda; and then of the child born of their forbidden love, Sigurd, the greatest hero of Middle-earth.
He destroys the dragon, wins the ring, and falls in love with the Valkyie Brynhild. But he does not realize the ring's power or the envy it inspires, and becomes ensnared in the plots of the Giukung rulers who wish him to marry their sister Gudrun and fight for their kingdom. The ring enables him to gain victory for the Giukungs, but with the combined efforts of Odin, the Giukungs, the dwarflord, and the vengeful Brynhild arrayed against him, he must choose between the easy path of deceit or the deadly way of honor.
The review of this Book prepared by Victoria Randall