The story 'Blessing the Cliff' tells how an Icelandic Bishop blessed a line of cliffs to exorcise the trolls who lived there. When he had nearly completed
the task, a voice cried, "Bishop, the wicked do need somewhere to live!"
The Bishop saw the point and left the rest of the cliffs unblessed, at the disposal of the trolls.
Susan Price shows the same tolerant spirit, holding the balance between saints and demons, Christians and pagans. She has known the nineteen tales retold here most
of her life and though they come from very different sources, she makes them all her own in these highly individual versions for older children. Her blend of detachment and imagination, plus her
humane, ironic tone give the book a clearly defined character of its own.
Authors's note: This was the first of my several collections of retold folk-tales.