Read 14 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. That history is very well known. Three minutes only in heaven and a whole night on earth had passed away! In the air danced a number of gnats, swarm upon swarm, and hosts of buzzing flies, lady-birds, gold beetles, and other little winged creatures; the worm crept forth from the damp ground, the moles came out; but except these all was silent around—silent, and, as people say, dead—for they speak of things as they understand them. As always, in today’s blog post I will share with you a rundown of the Finnish crime writers whose work I’ve read and loved. She plucked the sharp knife from her girdle, and quick as lightning she rushed in upon the astonished priest. THE WITCH HUNTER is a page-turning, entertaining Nordic thriller with plenty of appeal for fans of Nordic Noir and serial killer thrillers alike. a message to the viking woman. Therefore she rose from her couch and stepped out upon the threshold, and on the top of the gable she saw stork ranged behind stork, and around the castle, over the high trees, flew bands of storks wheeling in wide circles; but opposite the threshold where she stood, by the well where Helga had often sat and alarmed her with her wildness, sat two white swans gazing at her with intelligent eyes. Yes, in detail, exactly the same things were seen then that may yet be beheld. The Marsh King’s Daughter features Helena Pelletier who has a loving husband and two young daughters. THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER by Karen DionneG.P. The child’s short garment reached only to her knee. The wood became thicker as they went on, and at last became a trackless wilderness. The Marsh King's Daughter (Book) : Dionne, Karen : "At last, Helena Pelletier has the life she deserves. Her mother was abducted as a teenager, and Helen is a result of that event. And seriousness struck its roots deep into her mind and heart. Why do you appear here—you, a strange woman?”, “It is I—it is Helga—dost thou not know me? The Marsh King's Daughter (Book) : Dionne, Karen : Praised by Lee Child and Karin Slaughter, and sure to thrill fans of The Girl on the Train and The Widow, The Marsh King's Daughter is mesmerizing psychological suspense, the story of a woman who must risk everything to hunt down the dangerous man who shaped her past and threatens to steal her future: her father. They also knew that “even the welcome guest becomes wearisome when he sitteth long in the house;” but for all that they sat still, for pork and mead are good things; and there was high carousing, and at night the bondmen slept among the warm ashes, and dipped their fingers in the fat grease and licked them. “Have I had a bad dream? There, by the reeds and the green mud, lay a great alder stump; and on this the three swans sat, flapping their wings and looking about them. She sank immediately, and the alder stump dived down too; and it was he who drew her down. . “Self-achieved is well-achieved,” she said. “You speak our language,” he said; “what do you wish? “ Subtle, brilliant, and mature. It was the spirit of the dead Christian priest; he too was coming to her wedding feast—coming from heaven. His family and servants surrounded him, for he was not dead, though one could not exactly say that he was alive. There was strength and refreshment in the cool forest breeze; and no small power lay in the gentle words, which were spoken in faith and in Christian love, from a strong inward yearning to lead the poor lost one into the way of light and life. Hardcover: 320 pagesPublisher: G.P. Then she trembled. Guests were invited, and received handsome gifts: all feuds and all malice were forgotten. The frog-woman beckoned him to follow, and led him through corridors shrouded with curtains, into the stables, and there pointed to a horse. It is said that in old times there was here a sea, whose bottom was upheaved; now the moorland extends for miles on all sides, surrounded by damp meadows, and unsteady shaking swamp, and turfy moor, with blueberries and stunted trees. Among the rebellious nobles is young Nicholas de Caen who has been taken prisoner because he knows a terrible secret about the king. The full moon was already rising. The effects did not yet appear, nor was she aware of them herself; but doth the seed in the bosom of earth know, when the refreshing dew and the quickening sunbeams fall upon it, that it hath within itself the power of growth and blossoming? Every month this temper showed itself in sharper outlines; and in the course of years—during which the storks made the same journey over and over again, in autumn to the Nile, in spring back to the moorland lake—the child grew to be a great girl; and before people were aware of it, she was a beautiful maiden in her sixteenth year. A loving husband, two beautiful daughters, a business that fills her days. One of the wisest of them said, as the stork-mamma said too, “She will manage to help herself;” and at last they quieted their minds with that, and resolved to wait and see what would happen, for they knew of nothing better that they could do. And the nightingale flew away—and time flew away. And, indeed, they returned on that very day that was so rich in joy and gladness. He sank and went down to the “marsh king,” as they called him, who ruled below in the great moorland empire. “Let me get at thee!” she screamed; “let me get at thee, and plunge this knife in thy body! There she sat like a startled squirrel, and remained the whole day long in the silent solitude of the wood, where everything is quiet, and, as they say, dead. Helena has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is the second longest of Andersen's stories, after "The Snow Queen". The Marsh King's Daughter Summary. Yes, I may as well tell you, that every year, when I came here a few days before you, to repair the nest and attend to various matters, I spent a whole night in flying to and fro over the lake, as if I had been an owl or a bat, but every time in vain. They struggled together in a hard strife, but an invisible power seemed given to the Christian captive. And now she thought the grave-hill would be strong and secure. I felt the weight of sleep upon my eyelids; I slumbered, and dreams hovered round me. Happy reading! Our main character tends to look back on her childhood with fondness: even though she knows as an adult that her upbringing was wrong, her frame of reference for understanding her upbringing has been skewed by years spent under her father's thumb. And the horse gallopped on more wildly than ever; the sky turned red, the first sunbeam pierced through the clouds, and as the flood of light came streaming down, the frog changed its nature. And yet finer would it be to follow him in his career.”. You know I can’t bear to be kept long in suspense when I’m hatching eggs.”, “You see, mother, she believed in what the doctor said, and you told me true. Fast paced, thrilling, original with characters and descriptions that jump off the page. When she awoke towards morning, she was violently alarmed, for the infant had vanished! In what ways are these two stories similar? But now her father has killed two guards, escaped from prison, and disappeared into the marshland he knows better than anyone else in the world. But how glad I am! The second is not known yet, perhaps, because it is quite an inland story. A rich life in present and future happiness was given and won; and what was yet to come? And he knelt down and prayed fervently. But we had our revenge. “I should like to take away the swan’s feathers from the two faithless princesses,” said the stork-papa; “then, at any rate, they will not be able to fly up again to the wild moor and do mischief. You will turn out something! “So you see,” he concluded, “the princess is not dead, for she must have sent the little one up here; and now that is provided for too.”, “Ah, I said it would be so, from the very beginning!” said the stork-mamma; “but now think a little of your own family. She thought of the Viking woman in the wild moorland, of the gentle eyes of her foster-mother, and of the tears which the kind soul had wept over the poor frog-child that now lived in splendour under the gleaming stars, in the beauteous spring air on the banks of the Nile. In flashbacks, Helena mentions repulsive behaviors in such a casual way that it takes the reader a moment to realize just how messed up these actions truly are. To cement the annexation of the Neck to the Kingdom of the North, the daughter of the last Marsh King married the King in the North. It seemed as if a strong hidden will gave her strength. The body crumbled to dust; and a faded lotos-flower lay on the spot where Helga had stood. She stood still beside the corpse of the priest and the carcase of the slain horse. And while the two were locked in each other’s embrace, the old stork flew around them in smaller and smaller circles, and at length shot away in swift flight towards his nest, whence he brought out the swan-feather suits he had preserved there for years, throwing one to each of them, and the feathers closed around them, so that they soared up from the earth in the semblance of two white swans. Putnam's Sons; 6/13/17CBTB Rating: 3/5The Verdict: unique & unusual, but missed the mark for me. She knew it was the time for the storks to depart, and that it must be those birds whose wings she heard. The dead priest commanded that the slumbering woman should be lifted upon the horse; but the horse sank under the burden, as though its body had been a cloth fluttering in the wind. Never before had she seen such creatures—great clumsy things they were, with wings that looked as if they had been clipped, and the birds themselves looking as if they had suffered violence of some kind; and now for the first time she heard the legend which the Egyptians tell of the ostrich. When I returned to consciousness a little bird was sitting on my bosom, beating with its wings, and twittering and singing. “After all, he’s handsomer than any of them,” said stork-mamma to herself; “but I won’t tell him so.”. Info & links . And she kissed and hugged it; but the child struggled and fought like a little wild cat. The bridegroom was the young Arab prince, and bride and bridegroom sat together at the upper end of the table, between mother and grandfather. She had fulfilled all these injunctions, and had seen in a vision that she was to bring home from the deep lake in the northern moorland—the very place had been accurately described to her—the lotos flower which grows in the depths of the waters, and then her father would regain health and strength. The Marsh King's Daughter A translation of Hans Christian Andersen's "Dynd-Kongens Datter" by Jean Hersholt. Then the frog-skin fell off, and Helga stood revealed in all her beauty, lovely and gentle as she had never appeared, and with beaming eyes. But for all that we may listen to what the people said, for we have to listen to a great deal of talk in the world. The old proverb was indeed well known, which says, “The cattle know when they should quit the pasture, but a foolish man knoweth not the measure of his own appetite.” Yes, they knew it well enough; but one knows one thing, and one does another. I liked it, but really didn't love it. I shall stay here, and you shall stay too.”. A white-green mouth spread over half her face, her arms became thin and slimy, and broad hands with webbed fingers spread out upon them like fans. The long coloured curtains of tapestry, which she and her maids had worked, and on which they had woven pictures of their idols, Odin, Thor, and Freya, were hung up; the slaves polished the old shields, that served as ornaments; and cushions were placed on the benches, and dry wood laid on the fireplace in the midst of the hall, so that the flame might be fanned up at a moment’s notice. “Yes, it’s delightful here; and it’s always like this in our warm country,” said the stork-mamma; and the young ones felt quite frisky on the strength of it. And now they rode through the air, over the rustling wood, over the hills where the old heroes lay buried, each on his dead war-horse; and the iron figures rose up and gallopped forth, and stationed themselves on the summits of the hills. The guests will all depart.”. Then she catches an emergency news announcement and realizes she was a fool to think she could ever leave her worst days behind her. But it just didn't grab me. “What they said was so confused, it was so wise and learned, that they immediately received rank and presents—even the head cook received an especial mark of distinction—probably for the soup.”, “And what did you receive?” asked stork-mamma. It is certainly rightly called the “wild moor;” and one can easily think how dreary and lonely it must have been, and how much marsh and lake there was here a thousand years ago. But where grew the flower that could restore him to health? The wilderness there is still a great wide moor-heath, about which we can read in the official description of districts. The Marsh King’s Daughter is in development. At dawn of day we shall move hence, a great company of storks. This book wasn't the best fit for me, but I do think readers with the right expectations will still enjoy it. But her head sank wearily, her tired limbs required rest, and she fell into a deep slumber. And life and tumultuous joy came with them into the Viking’s castle on the moorland. Of all the Nordic crime fiction traditions, I am the least familiar with Finnish crime fiction—but I’m on a mission to change that! Follows Helena, a woman living a seemingly ordinary life, but hiding a dark secret within: that her father is the infamous “Marsh King,” .Helena’s conflicting emotions about her father and her own identity elevate this powerful story.” Then the robbers were seized with terror, and let her go. Not on this day nor on the morrow did the Viking return, although he certainly was on his way home; but the wind was against him, for it blew towards the south, favourably for the storks. He sank and went down to the “marsh king,” as they called him, who ruled below in the great moorland empire. A loving husband, two beautiful daughters, a business that fills her days. Does he deserve her love? The Viking woman had heard of the miracles told of the Christian priest, and which were said to be wrought by him and by those who believed in his words and followed him. How does the fable shape your understanding of Helena’s character? Before her stood the dead horse, beaming and full of life, which gleamed forth from his eyes and from his wounded neck; close beside the creature stood the murdered Christian priest, “more beautiful than Bulder,” the Viking woman would have said; and yet he seemed to stand in a flame of fire. The prisoner understood her meaning, and in a rapid trot they rode on a way which he would never have found, out on to the open heath. Towards midnight she awoke. The officiating priest sprinkled the slaves with the warm blood; the fire crackled, the smoke rolled along beneath the roof; but they were accustomed to that. A good wind for one is a contrary wind for another. I myself saw it—how the stump of the tree turned round, and ceased to be a tree stump; long thin branches grew forth from it like arms. “Thy magic beauty hath a power that comes of evil, and I fear it; and yet I feel that the victory is sure to him who hath faith.”. Ah, we shall never see that poor lady again! The King's Daughter (previously titled The Moon and the Sun) is an upcoming American action-adventure fantasy film directed by Sean McNamara from a screenplay by Barry Berman and James Schamus.It is based on the 1997 novel The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre.The film stars Pierce Brosnan as King Louis XIV, Kaya Scodelario as Marie-Josèphe, and Benjamin Walker as Yves De La Croix. One of the robbers lifted his axe to slay him, but the young priest sprang aside and eluded the blow, which struck deep into the horse’s neck, so that the blood spurted forth, and the creature sank down on the ground. Yes, only look at me! Once, they say, the ostriches were a beautiful, glorious race of birds, with strong large wings; and one evening the larger birds of the forest said to the ostrich, “Brother, shall we fly to-morrow, God willing, to the river to drink?” And the ostrich answered, “I will.” At daybreak, accordingly, they winged their flight from thence, flying first up on high, towards the sun, that gleamed like the eye of God—higher and higher, the ostrich far in advance of all the other birds. Now the princess is buried in the wild moor, and never more will she bear away a flower to Egypt. But one thing stork-papa understood. I’ll hide the two swan-feather suits up there, till somebody has occasion for them.”. The ugly frog, in its monstrous form, stood before her, and fixed its brown eyes upon her face, listening to her words, and seeming to comprehend them with human intelligence. The family lives on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “I’ve something very terrible to tell you,” he said to the stork-mamma. The night had passed away in this difficult work—the sun broke through the clouds, and beautiful Helga stood there in all her loveliness, with bleeding hands, and with the first tears flowing that had ever bedewed her maiden cheeks. And therefore she had gone forth in the swan’s plumage out of the land of Egypt to the open heath, to the woodland moor. The dragon that guards buried treasures likewise lifted up his head and gazed after the riders. “Why, that is terrible!” said stork-mamma. It seemed as if, out of mere malice, when her mother stood on the threshold or came out into the yard, Helga, would often seat herself on the margin of the well, and wave her arms in the air; then suddenly she would dive into the deep well, when her frog nature enabled her to dive and rise, down and up, until she climbed forth again like a cat, and came back into the hall dripping with water, so that the green leaves strewn upon the ground floated and turned in the streams that flowed from her garments. And they flew across the lofty Alps towards the blue Mediterranean. All, high and low, had spoken out of their inmost hearts, and said that it was a great misfortune for thousands of people, yes, for the whole country, that this man was lying sick, and could not get well, and that it would spread joy and pleasure abroad if he should recover. The war-trumpet sounded, and the gods rode over the rainbow, clad in steel, to fight the last battle. In general each story is suited to the age and sense of the little storks. No electricity, no heat, no running water, not a single human beyond the three of them. And then the two wept. “I should like to run my beak deep into their chests.”, “And perhaps break it off,” interposed the stork-mamma; “and then you would look well. Only through love can his life be preserved.” That is what they all said, and the learned men said it was very cleverly and beautifully spoken. . It had been better if thou hadst been set out by the high-road, and the night wind had lulled thee to sleep.”. “Thou daughter of the moorland,” he said, “out of the earth, out of the moor, thou camest; but from the earth thou shalt arise. Dionne's sensitive and thoughtful portrayal of how our main character struggles to integrate into and assimilate with modern American culture was truly compelling. By the shore of the lake, under a weeping birch tree, we laid her in the cool earth. Here a marriage was celebrated, and fair Helga was the bride, shining in jewels and silk. It is best to stay here, where there are frogs and locusts. She thought of Helga in the shape of a swan, and of the Christian priest; and suddenly she felt her heart rejoice within her. Thank you for subscribing to CBTB Reviews. Then the poor child was terribly frightened, and sprang up to flee away. 4. I have never forgotten it.”. The Viking’s wife declared that he was beautiful as Bulder to behold, and his misfortune touched her heart; but Helga declared that it would be right to tie ropes to his heels, and fasten him to the tails of wild oxen. All Rights Reserved. But then it’s an advantage to hear what went before, what has been said; and in this case we are well informed, for we know just as much about it as stork-papa. When it reached the surface, a leaf spread out and unfolded itself broader and broader; close by it, a bud came out. Such gravity, such an air of justice, such a piercing look shone out of his great mild eyes, that their glance seemed to penetrate every corner of her heart. Instances of her father's physical abuse or hyper-controlling behavior are slipped into our main character's recounting of her childhood as casually as you or I would mention the most ordinary activities. to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland, and today we’re going to be exploring crime fiction from Finland! She opened a side door which led into her own chamber; and, as she thought to step in there, she suddenly found herself in the garden; but yet it had not looked thus here before—the sky gleamed red—the morning dawn was come. Thou art pale as straw, thou beardless slave!”. On the roof the stork had built his nest; and stork-mamma there hatched the eggs, and felt sure that her hatching would come to something. She wished to see them once more, and to bid them farewell as they set forth on their journey. But stay, I have a thought. When the evening twilight came on, and the sun was sinking, the time of her transformation roused her to fresh activity. “In the swan’s plumage came I hither,” said the mother; “and here also I threw off my dress of feathers. She thought of the love that dwelt in the breast of the heathen woman, the love that had been shown to a wretched creature, hateful in human form, and hideous in its transformation. But let it be as it will, I’ve something else to think of.”. that was a point they could not get over. “You can see one corner of it if you raise yourself a little. “But with you it’s only once in a way, whereas I lay eggs every year; but neither of us is appreciated—that’s very disheartening.”. If it had been you or I, or one of our people, it would certainly have been all over with us.”. The two suits of swan feathers which I and the young ones dragged up here out of the land of the Nile have consequently not been used: we had trouble enough with them to bring them hither in three journeys; and now they lie down here in the nest, and if it should happen that a fire broke out, and the wooden house were burned, they would be destroyed.”, “And our good nest would be destroyed too,” said stork-mamma; “but you think less of that than of your plumage stuff and of your moor-princess. Except at breeding-time, I have nothing to say.”. But Helga declared she could not quit the Danish land before she had once more seen her foster-mother, the affectionate Viking woman. so she dug up the earth as well as she could, in the endeavour to prepare a grave for them. “That’s very pretty and suggestive,” said stork-papa. “They could not possibly have done less.”. And the Viking woman wrote Runic characters against sorcery and spells of sickness, and threw them over the wretched child; but she could not see that they worked any good. I just didn't feel connected to any of the characters and wasn't terribly interested in the outcome of the story. Mists are almost always hovering over this region, which seventy years ago was still inhabited by wolves. He had already gone some distance, when he gave a great flap! One evening stork-papa stayed out very long; and when he came home he looked very bustling and important. A loving husband, two beautiful daughters, a business that fills her days. So she begged the little bird to fly to the beech wood, on the peninsula of Jutland, where the grave-hill had been reared with stones and branches, and begged the nightingale to persuade all other little birds that theymight build their nests around the place, so that the song of birds should resound over that sepulchre for evermore. Join now to publish your own tales, get feedback from readers, and enter writing competitions. The wife of the Viking has no children, and how often has she not wished for a little one! Fairytalez.com » Hans Christian Andersen » The Marsh King's Daughter. It seemed to me that I was again in the pyramid in Egypt, and yet the waving willow trunk that had frightened me up in the moor was ever before me. And with that they beat upon their shields, and hammered the table in glorious fashion with bones and knives. The Viking’s wife was strong of character and of will, according to the custom of the times; but, compared to her daughter, she appeared as a feeble, timid woman; for she knew that an evil charm weighed heavily upon the unfortunate child. “But what will the young ones say to it?” said stork-mamma. “Thy hard time will come,” said the Viking’s wife; “and it will be terrible to me too. I loved this approach to storytelling—it prompts the reader to engage with the material and think over everything they read. THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER is a truly ambitious novel—it's no small task to write a suspense novel that is both its own compelling story and a successful quasi-retelling of a classic fairytale. Yes, it was already more than a year ago since the princess had sallied forth by night, when the brief rays of the new moon were waning: she had gone out to the marble sphinx, had shaken the dust from her sandals, and gone onward through the long passage which leads into the midst of one of the great pyramids, where one of the mighty kings of antiquity, surrounded by pomp and treasure, lay swathed in mummy cloths. It is a fine thing, after all, to travel in this way, in families, not like the finches and partridges, where the male and female birds fly in separate bodies, which appears to me a very unbecoming thing. “Yes, certainly, that’s the important point,” replied he. The sorrowful remembrance of him called fresh tears into her eyes; and in this tender frame of mind she marked the same sign in the sand around the grave; and as she wrote the sign with both her hands, the webbed skin fell from them like a torn glove; and when she washed her hands in the woodland spring, and gazed in wonder at their snowy whiteness, she again made the holy sign in the air between herself and the dead man; then her lips trembled, the holy name that had been preached to her during the ride from the forest came to her mouth, and she pronounced it audibly. “Now, at last, you will become something,” whispered stork-mamma, “there’s no doubt about that.”, “What should I become?” asked stork-papa. I shall fly with the child to the Viking’s wife. Readers looking for a story with lots of outdoorsy reading material and less psychological suspense will enjoy THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER. So excited to reveal the stunning (and VERY creepy) cover of SHUTTER by @, On page 300 of 352 of The Jigsaw Man, by Nadine Matheson, Quick Reviews: Detective Novels & Scandi Crime, Book Review: THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER by Karen Dionne, Most-Anticipated December 2020 Crime Fiction Releases, Nordic Noir November: Spotlight on Finnish Crime Fiction, Book Review: THE WITCH HUNTER by Max Seeck, ← Guest Post: Elizabeth Heathcote, Author of UNDERTOW, Q&A: Emily Carpenter, author of THE WEIGHT OF LIES →. On the sepulchral mound she had raised there yet lay the cross of boughs, the last work of him who slept beneath. . Read on for my picks for new crime fiction releasing in December 2020. This angle felt fresh and intriguing—I loved the parallel fairytale excerpts sprinkled throughout the main narrative. We can’t sit here till the plovers start. Then the robber’s seized beautiful Helga by her white arms and her slender waist; but the sun went down, and its last ray disappeared at that moment, and she was changed into the form of a frog. The Viking’s wife herself assisted in the work, so that towards evening she was very tired, and went to sleep quickly and lightly. Butterflies fluttered around in sport, and in the neighbourhood were several ant-hills, each with its hundreds of busy little occupants moving briskly to and fro. Once more she looked round the room—the frog uttered a low, wailing croak, and she started, sprang from the couch, and ran to the window and opened it. He took the cross from the grave and held it aloft. As the song of the mother penetrates into the heart of the child, and it babbles the words after her, without understanding their import, until they afterwards engender thought, and come forward in due time clearer and more clearly, so here also did the Word work, that is powerful to create. At last they were decided upon the point that help must come by means of the princess, through her who clave to her father with her whole soul; and at last a method had been devised whereby help could be procured in this dilemma. The air resounded with the blows of clubs and swords, and with the hissing of arrows, as if a hailstorm were passing across it. Patiently she suffered the priest to lift her on the horse, and sat like a somnambulist, neither completely asleep nor wholly awake. And she reminded him of the Viking’s castle, and of the great ocean, and of the journey hither. “The princess wept and lamented aloud. And with that he gave a hop, and flapped his wings heavily twice, stretched out his legs behind him, and flew away, or rather sailed away, without moving his wings. I was wholly impressed by Karen Dionne's ability to weave the fairytale element into a modern suspense novel in a way that felt authentic. 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