Top 9 Most Appreciated Norse Mythology Books To Explore
Norse mythology has always been appealing, regardless of what kind of novels you are actually into. Nothing beats a good story revolving around warriors with a harsh reputation, as well as brutal gods who would sacrifice anything to reach their goals. All in all, whether you are after a novel or some popular legends, here are some of the best Norse mythology books to entertain yourself.
Thundrhed!, by Damon Wolfe
There is not much to think about when going through this book – adventure, excitement and straightforward action. The story follows Thundrhed, who might be similar to the classic Conan from some points of view. Adventures are clearly more exciting though.
The hero has to fight all kinds of villains, monsters and evildoers in epic plot twists. He has that brutal, yet pleasant stupidity associated with barbarians. While not the smartest person in the world, you will most likely fall in love with him and wish him to succeed.
Thundrhed has to explore the whole world trying to find treasures and artifacts. There are obviously some mythical creatures involved too, not to mention a few dragons. All in all, this book has everything you might need from a Norse mythology story.
The Viking Spirit, by Daniel McCoy
The Viking Spirit is suitable for those without too much knowledge about the Norse mythology. It is an authentic introduction and gets you ready for more exciting and dramatic stories. As you would expect from the author, this book is written in a simple and direct way. It is easy to understand and extremely appealing.
The book is a mix of 34 different legends and myths. All of them are based on the Norse mythology. From this point of view, it is the most complete book out there. It also provides a deeper insight on the religion associated with those times and the Viking beliefs.
You will end up teaming with all kinds of warriors, monsters, barbarians, and vikings in a universe full of stories. You will also understand the idea of fate in the Norse mythology, not to mention becoming familiar with ancient gods and goddesses.
Prose Edda, by Snorri Sturluson
Prose Edda analyzes the beginning of Norse gods and goddesses. What was there before them? How did everything start? This is one of the most popular works in the Scandinavian literature, and it will most likely give you all the details you need about the Norse mythology.
The book has been written and rewritten overtime. The original masterpiece occurred not more than a century after the Viking Age reached to an end. It explains ancient stories and debunks a few myths, but it also recounts battles associated with dwarves, elves, and gods.
The book also tackles a sensitive topic in the Norse mythology – the actual end of the world. It has a powerful explanation of how gods saw the ending approach. All the tales have a pagan profile, but they come up with a deep insight into the most influential myths of those times.
The Gospel of Loki, by Joanne Harris
This is the first fantasy novel from Joanne Harris and one of the best Norse mythology books out there. The novel is written in a first-person style and shows the reader how an experienced trickster – Loki – sees the evolution of gods. Loki sees gods rising out of nowhere, not to mention witnessing their fall too.
Loki was initially recruited from the underground. The story follows his life as he meets his master Odin, but also analyzes the fall of Asgard and even the betrayal of various gods. As you go through one adventure after another, you can tell the author has used her astonishing passion for Norse mythology.
Loki was initially born a demon. He becomes a god then. He is known for his exquisite deception skills. On the same note, he is always seen as a demon, regardless of how hard he tried to hang around gods. This is what pushes him towards revenge.
Myths of the Norsemen from the Eddas and Sagas, by H. A. Guerber
When it comes to myths and legends associated with the Norse mythology, you can literally expect anything. This book makes no exception either. You have a bit of love, some heroic actions, plenty of romanticism, darkness and tragedy.
Drama leaves no room for misinterpretations, but adventure kicks in to keep you interested. Every myth or tale will easily stir you a little. They are just as powerful and touching today as they were hundreds of years ago. Some of them are famous, while others may seem completely new.
The author touches a few things that are often overlooked in the Norse mythology – nobility and valor. There is something for everyone out there. Just like Scandinavian children enjoyed these stories beside campfires on frozen nights, you will feel just as excited to learn more about this underrated part of history.
The Sea of Trolls, by Nancy Farmer
The action takes place in 793 AD. Jack never bothered about the dangers around him until one day, when he gets kidnapped along with his sister. The vikings have Jack and his sister now. The two are taken to the court of Ivan – also known as the Boneless. As if things were not bad enough, they are about to get even worse.
At some point, Jack finds himself in the middle of a quest. He is supposed to find Mimir’s Well – a magical place that no one really knows where to find. The quest becomes even more challenging because Jack knows his sister’s life is in his hands – if he fails, she dies.
The story will keep going through his adventure to find this magical well. He runs into all kinds of creatures and monsters – from massive spiders to mother dragons. Bottom line, this is one of the richest Norse mythology books and it will easily fill your heart with excitement.
The Sword of Summer, by Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan has managed to come up with a masterpiece. The story follows Magnus Chase. Magnus has always been a troublemaker. However, his whole life changed a couple of years ago. It was a dark night and the last interaction with his mother was when she told him to run. He spent the past few years on the streets, having no clue which way to go.
Magnus feels insignificant now. Until one day… He finds out that someone is pushing to track him down. His uncle Randolph wants to establish a new connection with him, but his mother has always warned him about his uncle. He knows something is sketchy, but he is not sure what.
All in all, Magnus tries to outmaneuver his uncle, but he fails. It was a trap. Later on, it looks like Randolph was after Magnus’s birthright – a weapon that could change the world. Everything starts making sense now, as Magnus learns more about his actual role.
Odd and the Frost Giants, by Neil Gaiman
It has been an incredibly long winter. Everyone wants to see the planet come back to live, but it seems that winter is not about to end too soon. No one can really tell why. No one can figure out what happened and why winter takes so long. Now, the story goes on to Odd – while he can barely walk, he manages to escape his home and run away.
However, the wilderness has plenty of secrets to discover. He ends up in a forest and runs into a fox, a bear and an eagle. These creatures have nothing in common at first, However, as he becomes familiar with them, Odd realizes that each of them has a different story to tell. These stories are not just weird, but they have hidden meanings that Odd simply cannot get.
From this point on, everything changes. He ends up on a journey to save Asgard, fight frost giants who he has never seen before and defeat some of the most dangerous creatures in the Norse mythology. This book is packed with action, myths, legends, a bit of humor and lots of plot twists.
Norse Gods, by Johan Egerkrans
Johan Egerkrans has put together some of the most prolific gods in the Norse mythology, as well as some less known names that anyone could find exciting. The author long dreamed about writing on Norse gods and when his first book hit the market, it reached international success in no time – it was initially released in Sweden only.
The author brings in some of the best-known legends in the Norse technology, but slightly interprets them in different ways. It all begins with the creation myth, when Odin and his brothers literally hack the first giant Ymer. There are numerous stories – some evoking bravery, while others being dramatic or sad.
The book ends with the final step in the process – the actual destruction in Ragnarok.
Bottom line, these are some of the most appreciated Norse mythology books out there. Whether you want to learn more about the myths associated with the Norse mythology, you want some tough legends or you simply like stories and novels with gods and goddesses, the above-mentioned titles will most likely hook you in. If you are looking for more mythology related sword & sorcery books, check out the following book list.