I read this book first about five years ago and fell absolutely in love with it. I have always been a big fan of mythology, and delved deep into Norse mythology specifically, in my early twenties. That’s when I became fascinated with the Vikings and their way of life. This was one of the books that helped me learn all about the gods, goddesses, realms and lore of the Norse men and women.
What I like most about this book is how it takes seemingly disparate tales and weaves them together into one narrative. I think it’s brilliant and I haven’t really seen it done before in any other mythological book. Usually the myths are told separately, like short stories, but in this case it reads almost like a novel.
There are of course some places where the narrative goes off on certain tangents, but that is done in order to get the whole of the most important Norse myths (such as the legend of Sigurd and Bryhnild) bundled up into one package. And even when it does deviate from the main narrative, the book does end up coming back to the main theme, which is the tale of the gods and their ultimate demise in Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods.
I am really glad I read this book again. My memory was refreshed and it helps my research into Nordic mythology that I am doing in order to finish writing and editing a YA fantasy book based on classic Norse myths and also inspired by Wagner’s opera the Ring of the Nibelungs, which is in turn a re-telling of the legend of Sigurd and Gudrun. Still in love with this book and I am certain it won’t be the last time I read it.