The Hidden Maiden
Author: Adaptation of folktale by Frances Jenkins Olcott
Region: Scandinavia, Finland
Original Language: Finnish, German
Translator: Translated by the author
Genre: Folktales, Fairytales
Descriptors: battles; castles; kantele; maidens; music
Age: 7+ years old
The Finnish fairy tale “The Hidden Maiden” is a bleak tale about an anthropomorphized kantele, a traditional Finnish string instrument, and an ancient castle that are haunted by a terrible secret. Deep within the walls lies a beautiful Swedish maiden, hidden there by her protectors from an attacking army that wished to steal her. Now all that remains in the empty, sad castle is an ash tree growing out of the stones where the maiden was hidden. This story uses illustrative language to bring to life the isolated castle and the melancholy music of the kantele. This short story comes from the collection Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards: Pagan Mythology, Shamanism, and Magic from Finland, Lapland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania written by Frances Jenkins Olcott. The selection of stories come from English and German sources and have been literally translated, which can feel a little awkward at times when read in English. Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards hosts 41 stories of East Baltic folklore about magic, wizards, witches, and more! Children ages 7 and up will be delighted by these magical tales.
More About This Book
Notes: From the collection Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards: Pagan Mythology, Shamanism, and Magic from Finland, Lapland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Resources: GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19709719-wonder-tales-from-baltic-wizards
Content Warning: There are themes of loss and death. This book does not have any illustrations. Finland is usually referred to as Nordic or Scandinavian country. Baltic countries are Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. There are several Scandinavian/Nordic countries situated on the Baltic sea.
Reviewed by: Leah Byrnes