The Runes of Elfland

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Overview

In 24 never-before-seen paintings, best-selling fantasy artist Brian Froud interprets the ancient and mystical runes of Celtic and European origin through Elfland, a world of faeries and myth. Each painting is inspired by a specific rune, richly symbolic and potent icons open to infinite interpretations. In the hands of the exceptional folklorist and poet Ari Berk, the secret meanings of these runes are revealed and their power is made manifest. In the pages of this book a single symbol provides the visual key to...

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Overview

In 24 never-before-seen paintings, best-selling fantasy artist Brian Froud interprets the ancient and mystical runes of Celtic and European origin through Elfland, a world of faeries and myth. Each painting is inspired by a specific rune, richly symbolic and potent icons open to infinite interpretations. In the hands of the exceptional folklorist and poet Ari Berk, the secret meanings of these runes are revealed and their power is made manifest. In the pages of this book a single symbol provides the visual key to a host of mythic stories, lands, and adventures. By using the runes and Froud's paintings as tools to explore both the “seen” and the “unseen” world, readers of The Runes of Elfland will be inspired to reimagine their own lives and tell their own tales. Both storybook and oracle, Runes of Elfland provides a wellspring of personal insight for the Froud fan and the Faery aficionado.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Award-winning illustrator Brian Froud (Faeries, The Faeries' Oracle, Good Faeries/Bad Faeries, etc.) has teamed up with folklore and mythology scholar Ari Berk to create The Runes of Elfland, an exploration of sorts into the narrative and artistic interpretations of mystical Celtic runes.

Featuring 24 new full-color, rune-inspired paintings and dozens of black-and-white sketches by Froud, as well as more than 100 pages of the folklore and mythology surrounding each rune, this book if packed with notable legends, such as the Birch Mother, the Woman of the Marsh, the Ever-Living, the Green Girl of the Birches, and the Day-Child.

The Runes of Elfland is a perfect gift book for anyone who enjoys Celtic folklore and mythology, as well as for those interested in faeries and fantasy. Froud fanatics will treasure this offering, which is both art book and folklore collection. "A single word can be a world and every letter a land. A rune drawn upon the ground can have curious consequences, might invite adventure, may open ancient doors. Here are the Runes of Elfland. Here are the songs of the shining lands. Here are signs of crossing and threshold. Here are stories of fate and illumination. Chant the charm, tell the tale, and step across…" Paul Goat Allen

VOYA
This is a great attempt at an educational and interesting book, but I have to say that in both departments it fails miserably. I loved the art in the book and I think it is a unique way of approaching this subject. Maybe if the author had a more childish way of saying what he is saying it might appeal to a lot more people. I would say that some of the stories in it are entertaining, but most are boring and very hard to read. VOYA CODES: 3Q 3P J S (Readable without serious defects; Will appeal with pushing; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Harry N. Abrams, 112p., $25. Ages 12 to 18.
—David Guion, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-If runes are the keys to Faery, this book is an Open Sesame. For each rune, Berk tells a brief story (borrowing from traditional myth and tale), often ambiguous and fragmentary, and then evokes the sign's significance and associations. The stories suggest mystical meanings and the sections on significance also tell stories, and urge participation ("seek a place of stone under the waning moon"). The 24 runes govern human activities: journeys, exchange, joy, loss, fate, memory, etc. Berk explores etymological links, origins, and natural correspondences. Life lessons, folk wisdom, and psychotherapy all play a role in this user's guide, and if the approach is a trifle portentous and highly poetic, readers are expecting no less. The pictures are classic Froud: a fistful of Arthur Rackham, a measure of Pre-Raphaelites, scattered seasoning from other 19th-century illustrators. (One painting is a clear Millais-Rossetti homage.) The palette is subdued, with a few touches of ruby or lapis adding glow to the greenish cast of the faery world. Each rune has a full-page heraldic illustration and a couple of elvish creatures forming the letter's shape with their bodies. It's all great fun and Froud fans will be ecstatic.-Patricia D. Lothrop, St. George's School, Newport, RI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781435109070
  • Publisher: Sterling
  • Publication date: 4/11/2008
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 8.36 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Froud is an award-winning illustrator, author, and Faery authority. His books include international best-sellers such as Faeries, with Alan Lee; Lady Cottington's Pressed Faery Book, with Monty Python's Terry Jones; Lady Cottington's Fairy Album; and The Faeries Oracle. He also served as the conceptual designer on Jim Henson's films The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. Froud resides in Devon, England, with his wife and son. Ari Berk is an artist, poet, and teacher of mythology, folklore, American Indian studies, and medieval literature. He has published works on rune lore, faerie stories, the Wild Hunt, landscape and myth, and many other topics. Dr. Berk is a professor of literature at Central Michigan University.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Runes - keys to a hidden world

    I was given this book as a Christmas present and was instantly entranced and intrigued by it. The illustrations are exceptional and speak volumes without saying a thing. The messages written in runes are fun to decode. The stories that relate to each of the runes are very old tales that teach us life lessons. The charms for each rune have the power to open your mind to learn the lesson of the rune and receive its gift. This book helps to reunite you with the natural and magical world that is all around us and that we normally plod through without giving a second look. It is a must read for any one who has a love for the faery world and/or runes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

    It opened my eyes to a whole new world.

    When I first stumbled upon this book at the bookstore, I knew it was special. After just reading the first few pages I was hooked. Brian Froud and Ari Berk have woven a rich, beautiful guide for anyone to understand nature, life, and the mysterious power of the runes. After reading this book, you will never look at the world the same way again. You will see hidden secrets and meanings in every stone, tree, river and creature that you never saw before. For a long while, many of us had forgotten the magic of nature and the runes. Now, with this book as your guide, you will have a better understanding of the world, and yourself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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