Sigurd the King's Son is an Icelandic fairytale from Ruth Manning-Sanders' anthology, A Book of Ogres and Trolls. This is an interesting story about a prince, step mother, trolls, and a princess. It subverts everything you think you know about fairy tales. The stepmother is a lovely woman who is wrongly accused, the monster (well, one of them) turns out to be a crazy aunt instead, and it’s the maiden in the tower who comes up with the escape plan – and as for Sigurd, what a wonderful hero! He’s stubborn, he’s resourceful, he’s happy for a princess he’s only just met to teach him how to row, and he’d really rather spend time with his stepmother than go off killing things with his father. Why do we not see more princes like this in folklore? Or maybe we just need to look harder.

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