Tales of the Sea: Traditional Stories of Magic and Adventure from around the World

Title: Tales of the Sea: Traditional Stories of Magic and Adventure from around the World

Writer: Traditional, illustrated by Maggie Chiang

Publishing House: Chronicle Books

Date of Publication: March 22nd 2022

Rating: 5 stars

‘’Come, sit beside me, Walter, and let us talk of love.’’

The Betrothed of Destiny (Armenia): The people of Armenia know how to fight for their independence against barbarians. In this tale, a princess uses her brain and many swords to see justice delivered. Pay attention to the final sentence. It’s the traditional way of ending a fairytale in beautiful Armenia. 

The Three Copecks (Russia): Three copecks and a cat bring fortune to an orphan boy and teach a lesson on honesty and humility.

The Disowned Princess (China): A truly majestic tale of a wronged princess, a brave traveller, palaces, songs and malicious suitors.

The Legend of Kae’s Theft of the Whale (Aotearoa – New Zealand): The tale of a feud, the punishment of an old magician, and cunning traps to trap your enemy.

The Fisherman and the Draug (Norway): In a land haunted by dark spirits, a family pays a terrible price for wanting a better boat. A tragic tale about a very particular demon, set in Norway.

Origin of the Narwhal (Innuit Nunangat): The bitter tale of a blind boy and a kind girl who faced the unthinkable cruelty of their mother.

Kahalaopuna, Princess of Manoa (Hawai’i): The tragic story of a beautiful princess who was vilified and slandered by worthless men and a cruel betrothed who wanted revenge at all costs.

The Mermaid’s Vengeance (Cornwall): The evil ambitions and depravity of two men cause the downfall of an innocent family. But the children of the sea are ever-watchful and vengeance will come in the darkest tale of the collection.

The Merman (Iceland): When honesty is rewarded by an enigmatic merman.

The Old Man Who Became a Fish (Korea): An official’s father becomes a skate to escape the ills of old age.

Tom Moore and the Seal Woman (Ireland): An Irish version of the Selkie legend.

The Fisherman and His Wife (Germany): A well-known tale of greed and wishes that teaches us to think before we ask.

Thunder and Anansi (Ghana): When a selfish man neglects his family to serve his own greed, Nature decides to teach him a valuable lesson.

Benito, the Faithful Servant (The Philippines): A lad is rewarded for his honesty, bravery and kindness in a charming version of a famous tale.

The Black Pearl (Bahrain): Aided by celestial powers, a pearl-diver sets off to find the twin of a beautiful black pearl.

The Story of Urashima Taro, the Fisher Lad (Japan): A kind fisherman earns an extraordinary journey and the hand of the Sea King’s daughter. But curiosity is a treacherous company…

Mesmerizing, haunting illustrations by Maggie Chiang.

‘’Come away, come away,

O’er the waters wild!

Our earth-born child

Died this day, died this day.

‘’Come away, come away!

The tempest loud

Weaves the shroud

For him who did betray.

‘Come away, come away!

Beneath the wave

Lieth the grave

Of him we slay, him we slay.

‘’Come away, come away!

He shall not rest

In earth’s own breast

For many a day, many a day.

‘Come away, come away!

By billows to

From coast to coast,

Like deserted boat

His corpse shall float

Around the bay, around the bay.’’