12 Jan 2018

(RUNEMARKS 0.5): THE GOSPEL OF LOKI.

THE GOSPEL OF LOKI by JOANNE M HARRIS.


With his notorious reputation for trickery and deception, Loki is a Norse god like no other. Demon-born, he is viewed with deepest suspicion by his fellow gods who will never accept him as one of their own.

But while Loki is planning the downfall of Asgard and the humiliation of his tormentors, greater powers are conspiring against the gods and a battle is brewing that will change the fate of the Worlds.

From his recruitment by Odin from the realm of Chaos, through his years as the go-to man of Asgard, to his fall from grace in the build-up to Ragnarok, this is the unofficial history of the world's ultimate trickster.
- Back cover Blurb

OK. Stop. Stop right there.
- First Sentence, Foreword

We travelled for days; Odin morose; Honir talking constantly - about the scenery, the sheep in the fields, the funny dream he'd had last night, speculating on whether we were there yet, how many leagues we must have travelled, or how long it was to lunchtime ....
- Memorable Moment, page 88

SOURCE ... A present from Mr T.

READ FOR ... Not applicable.

MY THOUGHTS ... First things first - the cover. Certain aspects picked out in gold foil (not that you can necessarily see it by looking at this image), I know, never judge a book by its cover but I hoped I was going to like the book as much as I did its cover.

0.5 of a series. 0.5? I ask you? But then it gets better ... before books 1 and 2 (Runemarks and Runelight respectively) which are marketed at a younger audience altogether, we have 0.6 (The Temptation of Loki). 

Anyway, 

Largely regarded as an 'adult spin-off (the first of Harris' Norse books for adults) and a prequel, which can be read as a stand alone book'. Whilst there are those out there who knowing their Norse mythology as they do will probably despair at the author's interpretation. For myself I really enjoyed The Gospel Of Loki with its ...

  • Creation story
  • Mighty ash, Yggdrasil 
  • Nine worlds
  • Cast of characters, some like Loki and Odin well known, others like Balder the Beautiful and Loki's off-spring Hel and Fenris perhaps lesser so.

Yes, its all here in this gloriously unpredictable and humorous account narrated by Loki himself no less. His language contemporary, something which will either work for you or not.

The original anti-hero, Loki makes no apologies for who or what he is. I don't usually go for the 'bad boy' but a fascinating character, like an onion, un-peel him and you'll find another layer. Then again, better people than me have been taken in by his charm.

One of those books on my Wish List for a long time. Am I glad I finally got to read it? You bet I am. What would I say to those who know there mythology and are wondering about reading it but are worried they might not like it? Go ahead, try to put aside what you think you know about Loki and co and go with the flow. After all, at worst you can come away justified that you were right all along and at best? Who knows, you might actually even enjoy it for the fun read that it is.

10 comments:

Melliane said...

I heard great things about this book and I confess that I'm quite curious to try too

Kelly said...

I read a couple of earlier books by this author and still have a short story collection on my TBR shelf. My knowledge of Norse mythology is rudimentary, at best... so it's not like I'd go into this with any preconceived ideas.

Still - I'm not certain it's really my cup of tea, but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

nightwingsraven said...

Tracy,
I have always loved to read
myths and legends. And what
you said about Loki as a
character and this book
really piqued my curiosity.
And thank you for your
excellent review.
Raven

Karen Alderman said...

Our reading doesn't always overlap but this one does grab my attention. I think I might go to Amazon and look for it.

<a href="http://www.fwiwreviews.net/</a>

Literary Feline said...

That cover is gorgeous. I bet it's even better in person.

Suko said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this book, Tracy. Wonderful review! My friend's dog is named Loki. For awhile, I thought the dog's name was Lucky.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I have to admit that the first thing did was to check that we were indeed talking about the same Joanne Harris of Chocolat and Blackberry Wine fame, as I had no idea that she had ever written anything in the genre of fantasy.

Not being one of my favourite genres, I probably wouldn't ever delve into this series, however I love the cover art of the books, with the possible exception of Runemarks #1.

I am pleased that you have managed to cross another book off your wish list and wish you well for your reading in 2018 :)

Yvonne

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I really like the idea of Loki - though I don't know much about the actual anthology. Sounds like an enjoyable read though!

-Lauren
www.shootingstarsmag.net

DMS said...

I like mythology and am curious about this one. The cover first pulled me in and then your review made me want to know more. Sounds fun and different!
~Jess

Gina R said...

I know a teeny bit about Norse mythology, but I admit...the moment I saw the name and read the synopsis, I had the THOR movies on the brain... *LOL* ^_^ Thanks for the peek inside!