When General Löwensköld dies, his fantastic ring is buried with him. When the grave is broken into and the ring stolen, the General returns from the dead to haunt the thieves and revenge the theft. He won’t rest until the ring is returned to its rightful place.
What a fascinating book! I’ve been listening to The Saga of Gösta Berling (by this same author) for the past few weeks, and am fascinated by her writing style. She was writing in the early 20th century, but her books feel much older than that, reminiscent of old mythology and ancient texts. In The Löwensköld Ring, I noticed that, like many pre-Don Quixote books, the emphasis was not on the characters but on the things that happen to them. Even though the happenings aren’t really plot-heavy, the characters themselves are more like archetypes than people.
The Löwensköld Ring has an additional element beyond the mythology and archetypes. It felt almost like a ghost story, the type you would tell as a child out camping. There’s a feeling of horror that presses through the text, even though nothing gruesome or really even that truly scary happens. Lagerlöf just manages to write in that oppressive fear so well! There is also a heavy amount of irony and an almost karma-like set of actions and consequences.
This was a bizarre and very interesting book. I’ve never read anything quite like it, or anything quite like Lagerlöf’s writing style. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of her works!