Norse fantasy novels pt 7: Magic and Seidr

Abra Cadabra pull a rabbit from a horn of mead! – Magic and Seidr


Magic exists in the majority of the Norse Fantasy books I have read, from a basic level of other realms existing alongside our own to magically cast by carving or throwing of runes, acts of prophecies such as Ragnarök, the feminine magic of Seidr and magical artifacts used by gods or heroes.

The Seidr magics tend to be involved with the telling and shaping of the future. Bits and pieces from Norse myths and sagas hint towards the Seidr being linked with early shamanism and Germanic fertility. Generally, a practitioner of Seidr would be female and may be called Volva, meaning staff carrier. Traditionally, the Seidr workers used a combination of staff, song and magics.

“Odin and the Völva” (1895) by Lorenz Frølich.


Runemarks by Joanne Harris is a brilliant new portrayal of runes and magic in a fantasy mythological world.

-It’s been five hundred years since the end of the world and society has rebuilt itself anew. The old Norse gods are no longer revered. Their tales have been banned. Magic is outlawed, and a new religion – the Order – has taken its place.

runemarks, book front cover


Foretold is part of the Sisters of Fate series by Rinda Elliott which has a brilliant post-Ragnarök prophecy weaving through the trilogy and driving the characters.

The Lockwood triplets have had the prophecy drummed into their heads since birth. Still, Raven, the eldest of the sisters, can’t believe it’s really happening. She’s the reincarnation of a Norse goddess?


In Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson, Seidr is used to lure young men away to Valhalla.

-Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.


In the adventures of Magnus Chase and his trilogy by Rick Riordan, nearly every mythological artifact and object from Frey’s sword, Fenrir’s chains, Fafnir’s dragon heart, the Ship that folds into a handkerchief and even Aegir’s mead making pot… and so much more gets involved in the story.

Find out why Amir Fadlan hates clothes shopping in Midgard, see how Mallory Keen learns in icy Niflheim that insulting a dragon can be a good idea, and join Alex Fierro as they play with fire (and a disco sword) in the home of the fire giants, Muspellheim.

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To see the other entries in our Let’s Talk Books: Norse Fantasy Novel see below!


link to part 6







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