|Norse mythology comes to life!|
Author Mike Vasich brings Norse mythology to life in way that only a gifted storyteller could. The novel slightly reimagines the Norse legends leading up to the apocalyptic battle of Ragnarök, but stays basically faithful to the core mythology. The story is told through the viewpoints of several of the Norse gods, including Tyr, Freyja, Odin, and, of course, Loki, the King of Lies, whose mistreatment and exile by Odin and the other gods motivates him to bring about the Nordic version of the End of Days. In the novel, Odin is known as the Terrible One, a grim and manipulative being that lives up to his nickname. The other gods are also interesting characters – especially the fearsome Thor and the sensual Freyja – as is Loki, who is both a sympathetic character and a murderous villain.
The novel reminded me a bit of some of the great, vintage fantasy tales, like Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melniboné. But Vasich tells his story in a modern and well-written third-person limited point-of-view. The story moves at a quick pace and the battle scenes are masterfully portrayed, being some of the most exciting in the novel. On top of that, the ending is both thought-provoking and satisfying. This is a truly fantastic novel that should appeal to anyone who loves mythology, or simply a really good fantasy tale. I highly recommend it!
|Is Odin the antagonist?|
One more point: Loki had me thinking about a Wayward Herald post titled Who Needs A Protagonist? (which commented on a great article by Jane Lebak). If Loki is the novel’s protagonist, he is somewhat atypical, being part antihero and part villain. In this respect, he reminded me a lot of the character of Satan in John Milton’s Paradise Lost. There are many more fitting heroes in Loki, however, including Tyr, Heimdall, and Thor, which could suggest that Loki is actually the novel’s antagonist (although, in my view, one-eyed Odin plays that role). Yet Loki’s character is the only one who seems to change by the novel’s end (and who ever said change had to be good?), so at least by many views, he would be the story’s protagonist. But for those who have read Loki, I am curious as to your opinion – is Loki the protagonist or the antagonist of the novel?