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The White Stag by Kate Seredy

The White Stag (original 1937; edition 1979)

by Kate Seredy

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8811315,072 (3.73)37
Title:The White Stag
Authors:Kate Seredy
Info:Puffin (1979), Paperback, 96 pages
Collections:Your library, Read
Tags:2019 book challenge

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The White Stag by Kate Seredy (1937)



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I think I expected more modern storytelling, this felt more like a mythic bard but it was stirring and well-written and I ended up enjoying it, even if I didn't know the storyline and didn't follow it as well.
  amyem58 | Apr 15, 2019 |
A four-part generational legend of the journey of the Huns and Magyars into/across Europe, beginning with Nimrod and ending with Attila and the achieving of the Promised Land. A solid work of historical mythology, wrought in quietly assured prose sprinkled with vivid imagery. Looking forward to more of [a:Kate Seredy|80667|Kate Seredy|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1453402760p2/80667.jpg]'s work.

Not quite four stars, more like a strong 3.5. I didn't find much to invest in, but a keeper for my middle grade shelves nonetheless. ( )
  AmandaGStevens | Mar 2, 2019 |
Seredy's writing, as expected, is excellent. Presented as a legend of the Hungarian people, it is quite possibly an oral history. We've all heard about Atilla the Hun coming from the Russian steppes. The story begins 3 generations previous, with Nimrod and his sons Hunor and Magyar, during a time of famine. They follow the leading of their god to find a land where they will prosper. In this generation it is a white stag who shows the way. There is much fighting as local tribes try to defend their homes from the massive migration. Over the decades of fighting, some of the leaders begin to doubt the leading of their god. Magyar & his followers remain where they are in a pleasant valley between the Don & Volga rivers (p.46). Hunor & his people, led by his grandson Atilla, follow the path of a flaming sword with much brutal warfare and eventual disastrous consequences. Hunor's tribe eventually is led again by a white stag to a new home, with an accepting small local tribe, west of the Carpathian mountains between the rivers Pathissus and Danubius.
Some small pieces of factual information are integrated: the comet in 408, the response of Flavius Honorius (Roman Emperor) and Pope Innocentius, the fighting with Sarmatians, Dacians, Goths, Franks, and Romans. These are peoples I have vaguely heard of but have no idea of their role in history. This legend is good motivation to learn more about this time in our world history. What did become of the Magyars? Damon's prophecy (p.59) says "for seven generations will they roam the earth, outcasts among men."
I am reminded of the Menominee tradition of being led west by a shell to a land where food grows on water which will be their home. ( )
  juniperSun | Jun 11, 2017 |
I enjoyed another book by this author, but after reading one chapter of this work, I was so upset by what happened that I decided I did not want to finish it.
  fuzzi | Sep 21, 2016 |
Not sure the truth behind this mythological seeming story about Attila the Hun. It seemed to drag, involved a lot of vague war, traditional in the folk telling of wise old leaders foreshadowing what is to come through signs in nature. Still not sure if the white stag is a good sign or a bad one - I suppose it depends on perspective. Interesting that this international tale follows two years of very patriotic award-winners, which followed a stream of Newberys that fit this model of trying to educate children about other times and beliefs, but maybe not doing so great a job. ( )
  GReader28 | Jul 1, 2016 |
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To my mother
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Old Nimrod, might hunter before the Lord, leaned wearily against the stones of the sacrificial altar.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Retells the legendary story of the Huns' and Magyars' long migration from Asia to Europe where they hope to find a permanent home.

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