Norse Fantasy Novels pt. 3- The Where and When

 The Where and When? – Time and Place:

In part 3 of ‘Let’s Talk Books- Norse Fantasy’ we are going to be looking at where and when the stories take place. First off I will first explain what I mean by my self-coined terms of Blended World, Fantastical World and Alternative World for it might not be immediately clear.

Blended World-  akin to Harry Potter Universe; wherein the magical and impossible take place every day albeit in secret pockets of time/space in the middle of our present real world.

Fantastical World- the entire novel takes place in any of the other 8 Realms on Yggdrasil’s branches EXCEPT our own, whether in history or present. So it is more or less straight fantasy. For example, Thor smashing giants in Jotunheim is a Fantastical World.

painting Thor of Asgard, fighting giants with goats
Mårten Eskil Winge’s painting of Thor fighting the giants

Alternative World– often carries forward elements, systems, etc from our reality, current time or from the past, but in this alternative reality, time and development of society takes a completely different route to actual history. For example, what if the Vikings did found and settle America successfully?

I noticed there are more Norse Fantasy books set within the Modern World than Historical periods. The former connects to how the Norse Gods survive or impact on humans/demi-gods and the latter connects more with the Vikings.


Becky’s Recommendations:

For a Historical Norse Fantasy try:  Wolfsangel by M.D. Lachlan.

-A stunning multi-volume fantasy epic that will take a werewolf from his beginnings as the heir to a brutal Viking king, down through the ages. 

For a Modern/Present Day, Norse Fantasy try: Freya by Matthew Laurence.

-Freya is the myth. Freya is the legend. And she’s about to make one hell of a comeback. There’s far more to Sara Vanadi than meets the eye. In her prime, she was Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, war, and death

For a Blended World, Norse Fantasy try: Valkyrie by Kate O’Hearn.

-Freya is dreading turning fourteen – that marks the official end of her childhood and when she takes up full duties of a Valkyrie – a collector of souls from humanity’s battlefields.


Other titles in a Historical Setting:

Ice Land by Betsy Tobin

-ICE LAND is an epic tale of forbidden love. Set in the year 1000 AD, in the shadow of a smouldering volcano, it portrays a society on the brink of change, where the old values of loyalty and kinship are threatened by a new world order.

West of the Moon by Katherine Langrish

An epic and action-packed fantasy adventure that weaves together Norse legends, shadowy creatures and an unforgettable hero.

The Swan Road by Angeline Hawkes

 -The challenge will take several years, voyages across the seas, friends will be made and enemies created, blood of innocents will be shed and hearts will be broken before she can finally regain her identity, freedom and peace.

The Valhalla Saga trilogy by Snorri Kristjansson

As punishment for disgracing his father, Ulfar Thormodsson has spent two bitterly uncomfortable years on the road, tasked with taking his highborn cousin Geiri on a tour of the kingdom. Now his journey is almost at an end – the walled town of Stenvik will be their final stop.


Other titles in a Modern/Present Day Setting:

The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams

-No rational cause could be found for the explosion – it was simply designated an act of God. But, thinks Dirk Gently, which God? And why? What God would be hanging around Terminal Two of Heathrow Airport trying to catch the 15:37 to Oslo?

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

-After three years in prison, Shadow has served his time. But as the days and hours until his release tick away, he can feel a storm brewing.

NorseCode by Greg Van Eekhout

The NorseCODE genome project was designed to identify descendants of Odin. What it found was Kathy Castillo, a murdered MBA student brought back from the dead to serve as a valkyrie in the Norse god’s army. 

Age of Odin by James Lovegrove

-Gideon Coxall was a good soldier but bad at everything else, until a roadside explosive device leaves him with one deaf ear and a British Army half-pension. So when he hears about the Valhalla Project, it’s like a dream come true. They’re recruiting former service personnel for excellent pay, no questions asked, to take part in unspecified combat operations.

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

-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.

Broods of Fenrir by Coral Moore

Shapeshifter Brand Geirson was raised to rule the Broods of Fenrir, but he refused his birthright. Instead, he killed their brutal leader–his own father–and walked away.

Fade, Fall and Flame by A K Morgen

-An ancient Norse prophesy of destruction has been set into motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined.

The Littlest Viking by Sandi Toksvig

-When Amber, the littlest Viking, set out from Scandinavia to seek her fortune she must have got lost on her way! Now she’s in Pegwell Bay with no one but her pet squirrel for company. When Katie, Gary and Joshua find her stranded on the beach, they decide to look after her. Now there’s a Viking living in their garden!

Sisters of Fate by Rinda Elliott

-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?

Freya and Slay by Matthew Laurence

-After Freya escapes from the power-controlling Finemdi Corporation, her quest to defeat her new enemy takes her to Hollywood. 


Other Titles in a Fantastical or Blended World Setting:

Runemarks, Runelight, Gospel & Testament of Loki (*Alternative World) by Joanne Harris

Gospel -It tells the story of Loki’s recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself.

Runemarks– Maddy Smith was born with a rusty-coloured runemark on her hand – a symbol of the old gods and definitely cause for suspicion. For magic is dangerous. Or so everyone thinks. But Maddy enjoys working magic. 

Runelight– Sequel to Runemarks- Six hundred miles apart, two girls each bear on their skin a runemark: a symbol of the Old Days when the known Worlds were ruled by the gods from their sky citadel, Asgard.

Testament -Mankind dreams of the Norse Gods once again, the river Dream is but a stone’s throw from their dark prison, and Loki is the first to escape into a new reality.

Loki (*Blended Fantastical World) by Mike Vasich

-God of Mischief. Father of Lies. Harbinger of Destruction. Exiled and tortured by the gods, Loki swears vengeance. 

BloodTide and BloodSong (*Alternative World) by Melvyn Burgess

-Val, head of the Volsons, wishes for peace between the two and offers his daughter Signy as Conor’s wife in order to broker a treaty

Ship in the Hill (*Actually a Time Split) by William Sullivan

-Based on the true story of a Viking burial ship unearthed in Norway in 1904, this historical novel alternates chapters between the archaeologists and the Viking queen who sailed the ship a thousand years earlier.

The Sleeping Army (*Blended Alternative World) by Francesca Simon

-Freya is an ordinary girl living in modern Britain, but with a twist: people still worship the Viking gods. One evening, stuck with her dad on his night shift at the British Museum, she is drawn to the Lewis Chessmen and Heimdall’s Horn.

Valda and the Valkyries (*Fantastical World) by Mark Neumayer

-Valda isn’t like the other Dwarf girls. She wants to live her own life, not the one Dwarf society says she has to live. She aches to travel outside the tunnels of her mountain home and see all the wonders the Nine Worlds have to offer. 

The Fetch (*Time Split) by Chris Humphreys

-The apparition, double, or wraith of a living person.In the attic, in an old sea chest, secreted away, are a mysterious journal and a set of runes: 24 stones that will change Sky’s life forever.

Valkyrie series (*Blended World) by Kate O’Hearn

-Freya is dreading turning fourteen – that marks the official end of her childhood and when she takes up full duties of a Valkyrie – a collector of souls from humanity’s battlefields.

United States of Asgard series (*Alternative World) by Tessa Gratton

Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin fears both the past and the future. His father, a famed berserker warrior, went to prison after killing thirteen innocent people during a mindless battle-frenzy. Berserking is in Soren’s blood, too: constant fevers and insomnia promise the power will explode in him any day.

Sisters of Fate (*Blended World) by Rinda Elliott

-It is written that three Sisters of Fate have the power to change the world’s destiny. 
But only if they survive…

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series(*Blended World) by Rick Riordan

-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.

Norse Mythology (*Fantastical) by Neil Gaiman

-Gaiman’s gods are thoroughly alive on the page – irascible, visceral, playful, passionate – and the tales carry us from the beginning of everything to Ragnarok and the twilight of the gods.

Monstrous Child (*Fantastical) by Francesca Simon

-A stunning, operatic and epic drama like no other. Meet Hel, an ordinary teenager – and goddess of the Underworld. Why is life so unfair? But Hel tries to make the best of it, creating gleaming halls in her dark kingdom and welcoming the dead who she is forced to host for eternity.



Interested in reading more in this series? Check out part one and two! 

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