Norse Mythology: Book Review

“Before the beginning there was nothing- no earth, no heavens, no stars, no sky: only the mist world, formless and shapeless, and the fire world, always burning.”

Neil Gaiman, Norse Mythology

Author Neil Gaiman successfully brings the world of the Norse gods and reinvents them into beautiful, novel-like stories. In this book, the reader is introduced to the many Norse gods, giants and dwarfs that lived among the nine worlds and are told the story of them from their origin through their very ending, Ragnarok.

I knew absolutely nothing about Norse mythology, well other than Thor and Loki and the fact that they existed in the Marvel movies, when I picked up this book and decided to read it. My husband had bought this book some time ago when I suggested it for him in an attempt to get him to read a book. He’s not a huge reader and my attempt was unsuccessful, but that’s okay, it gave me a chance to read a Gaiman novel.

I decided to read this book after my husband and I started watching the History Channel show, Vikings, and was fascinated with the subject matter and wanted to learn more. I was never a huge fan of fantasy or mythology, so this was a whole new type of reading experience for me.

I really enjoyed this book though! Gaiman does such a wonderful job of retelling the stories of the Norse gods while staying true to the myths. Each chapter in the book is a different story revolving around what Gaiman calls, “The Players”, who are Odin, Thor, and Loki. Each one written so beautifully and fully captured my attention. I loved each chapter but my favorite of the 15 stories would have to be “Freya’s Unusual Wedding”.

I quickly added more Gaiman to my TBR (to-be-read) list after finishing this book. I felt this was a great introduction into his work and style of writing. I appreciate that he retold a story that I feel is not as explored or shared as, lets say, Greek mythology. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the world of Norse mythology.