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Thursday, 8 June 2017
Review: Norse Mythology
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman fashions primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds; delves into the exploits of the deities, dwarves, and giants; and culminates in Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods and the rebirth of a new time and people. Gaiman stays true to the myths while vividly reincarnating Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki, the son of a giant, a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator. From Gaiman’s deft and witty prose emerges the gods with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to dupe others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.
I am a huge mythology nerd, I'm not going to lie, ever since learning about the Egyptians at school I've been so intrigued by Egyptian Mythology. I have to say that one's my complete favourite, tied with Greek mythology. The Greek Mythology intrigue started after watching the Hercules Disney movie...and one of my favourite YA series, one of the first that I read in fact...The Covenant by Jennifer L Armentrout, is swimming in it and added to the obsession. Not to mention the Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan that I'm enjoying right now! (I still need to get to Percy Jackson!) If it has mythology in it...I'll read it. But not just Greek or Egyptian, I've always been fascinated by Chinese mythology too, and if there's a book, movie or TV show with it in...I'm all over it. My interest in Norse Mythology is the most recent, I'm not sure quite when it sprang up, I'm thinking it might have been the Thor Marvel movie, but it could have been me picking up an interesting sounding book with it in! Most recently I've been enjoying the Magnus Chase series by Rick Riordan that is completely full of Norse Mythology, and as I was reading this, I spotted more and more details that Riordan had used from mythology!
I love Neil Gaiman's books, and when I heard he was going to be doing Norse Mythology I was so excited, it promised to be an utterly brilliant and exciting combination..and I wasn't wrong. Norse Mythology as told by Neil Gaiman is intriguing and compellingly written. I found myself falling in to the different tales, the Gods and Goddesses coming to life and leaping off the page. The settings painted vividly. There was humour, of course there was, as Gaiman adds his own touch.
Norse Mythology is fast paced and for lack of a better term, it's not at all waffly like a lot of mythology books are. They can be dry and overly long...but Gaiman's Mythology is to the point, and fresh. I really, really enjoyed reading all about it, I knew bits and pieces...but this book has filled in the gaps and brought more to my attention. I could make connections to the Marvel Thor movies and other books I've read with Norse Mythology, I could see where things had been taken from and changed and twisted and so on. There's an abundance of information in this book and I'm kind of finding myself hoping Gaiman might do a Greek, Chinese or Egyptian Mythology book next!