A retelling in English by Michael Birkett of the story of Richard Wagner`s Ring Cycle, with illustrations by Elizabeth Bury.
The Rhinegold: In which Alberich the Nibelung, an evil dwarf, steals the precious Rhinegold and fashions from it a Ring which brings him untold power to rule the world. Wotan, chief of the gods, needs the gold to repay the giants, Fafner and Fasolt, for building Valhalla, the great citadel and home of the gods.
The Valkyries: In which fate brings together Siegmund and Sieglinde, who fall in love. Siegmund has been chosen by Wotan as the hero who will reclaim the Ring. But Siegmund is killed, and when Wotan`s favourite daughter, Brunnhilde, tries to save him, she is banished from Valhalla to sleep on a mountain peak encircled by fire until a hero claims her for his own.
Siegfried: In which Siegfried, fearless son of Siegmund and Sieglinde, kills the dragon who is guarding the Ring. Not even afraid of Wotan, chief of the gods, Siegfried refuses to hand him the Ring. Wotan challenges the brave Siegfried to enter the circle of fire and win the heart of Brunnhilde.
Twilight of the Gods: In which Siegfried parts from Brunnhilde, leaving her the Ring as a pledge of his love. Siegfried journeys down the Rhine where he encounters Hagen, son of the evil dwarf Alberich. Siegfried is killed. In despair Brunnhilde hurls the Ring to the Rhinemaidens and dies on Siegfried`s funeral pyre. Valhalla burns and the era of the gods is ended.
Produced by Oberon Books