English / Great Britain


Mitton, Tony (text)
Lawrence, John (illus.)
Oxford: David Fickling Books, 2013. – [60] p.
ISBN 978-0-8575-6014-8

Wayland the Smith | Metamorphosis | Love | Greed | Revenge | Mythology | Verse novel

Wayland, aka Wēland or Volundra, is a master blacksmith depicted in Germanic and Norse mythology.

In this beautiful square volume, award-winning poet Tony Mitton creates his own version of the ancient tale with a hopeful twist at the end. After Wayland’s wife shapeshift s back into a swan and leaves him, the blacksmith finds solace in hard work and becomes famous for his exquisite creations. Greedy King Nidud imprisons him on an island where he has to labour day and night to increase the king’s riches. Patiently and cleverly, Wayland plans his escape and takes cruel revenge on the king before he flies away to be reunited with his wife in the sky.

Mitton’s entrancing verse narrative, reminiscent of old ballads, is visually recreated in atmospheric (digitally enhanced) wood and vinyl engravings by renowned artist John Lawrence. The detailed pictures – from full page to vignettes – perfectly underscore both the dire aspects of the tale and the hopeful ending. (Age: 10+)