Bards And Skalds
At the time the novel takes place, the worship of Odin, the old Celtic nature worship, and Christianity existed side by side. The traditional Celtic priests (or druids) had been replaced by wise women and bards. They were said to have the same magic powers.
Skalds were the Viking form of bards. They weren't as well known for magic, but they had a lot of power. In a time before written records, only they could ensure a man's fame with their poetry and songs. The Vikings also had wise women.
Jack And Jill
The nursery rhyme comes from a Norse legend of two children who were sent by their father to collect song-mead from Mimir's Well. On their way back, with a full bucket of mead, they were carried off by the moon god.
Copyright © 2004 by Nancy Farmer
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