What is a God without Mortals or a Mortal without a God?
A large majority of Norse Fantasy books involve Gods or other mythical characters and Mortals – and when I say mortals I mean regular everyday folks like me and you..Unless you are actually a goat reading this than.. carry on.
Okay, so in the last installment of Let’s Talk Books: Norse Fantasy we talked the Pantheon, so we are looking this week at the Gods themselves along with Demi-Gods, mortals and everyone in between.
Let’s do some history so for the Gods we have;
Ymir- Ymir is the ancestor of all the mythic entities from giants to or fantastical creatures. Ymir was perceived as more of the ‘first being’ who was created by the ice of Niflheim combined with the heat of Muspelheim. With his hermaphroditic body, Ymir was responsible for birthing male, female and mythical beings.
Odin- Y’all will have heard about grandaddy Odin, he is pretty problematic like most old white dude gods (cough ZEUS cough) however he is probably one of the most well-known Gods.
Frigg- Finally, I hear you cry out, yep finally some females. SO Frigg was Odin’s, long-suffering probably, wife and is the goddess of the sky and alined with fertility and motherhood, as a good Viking wife you’d likely pray to Frigg for help making babies. Frigg is also linked with the Goddess Freyja (remember the cat-drawn chariot, that was rad).
Thor- You folks know him. Anger issues, big hammer etc
Tyr- was regarded as the bravest of the Norse gods of the Germanic people. Tyr was often depicted as the one-handed god since his limb was bitten off by the monstrous wolf Fenrir when the god tried to trap the creature.
Loki- Also super well known, lots of tricks and very questionable choices in terms of.. wooing and seducing others.. for real check out Svaðilfari.
Hel- Another lady, finally. The ruler of this netherworld (also called Helheim) was the eponymous Hel, who was the daughter of Loki and the giant Angrboda. And it fell upon her to judge and decide the fate of the souls who entered her realm. She is like the Norse Hades I guess.
From what I have found there are 3 main books that are God only in terms of character interaction, Gospel of Loki, Monstrous Child and Norse Mythology, as each focus on the legends building up to and including Ragnarök and thus don’t leave the mythological world.
For a Norse Fantasy with strong Gods and Mortals interaction try
Wolfsangel series 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 Norse Fantasy with Demi-Gods
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard 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.
For one with Dwarves, you have:
Valda and the Valkyries 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.
Other titles featuring Gods & Mortals:
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 smoldering 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.
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
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.
Blood Tide and Blood Song by Melvyn Burgess
-Bloodtide- two warring gangs, named the Volsons and the Connors. Each controls a large portion of London since the city was blockaded from the outside world. 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.
-Bloodsong- Sigurd has a fabulous but frightening future predicted: even to start, he must leave everything he knows to go and fight a dragon, and from there descend into the Underworld.
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, the blood of innocents will be shed and hearts will be broken before she can finally regain her identity, freedom, and peace.
The Fetch by Chris Humphreys
-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 by Kate O’Hearn
-Freya is dreading turning fourteen – that marks the official end of her childhood and she must now take up the full duties of a Valkyrie – a collector of souls from humanity’s battlefields.
United States of Asgard series by Tessa Gratton
-Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people.
Valhalla Saga 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.
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?
Runes series by the late Ednah Walters
–Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about him. What Torin actually is, goes back to ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only is she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life
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 featuring Demi-Gods:
Broods of Fenrir by Coral Moor
–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.
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.
Dead Radiance by T.G. Ayer
-Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow on the people around her. And she knows all too well what psychiatrists do to people who claim impossible powers. She’s always stayed below the radar, but when she discovers the meaning of the beautiful auras, she’s not sure why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead and be unable to do anything about it.
Interested in the titles we’ve talked about? check out our dedicated Norse Fantasy section on Amazon!
Interested in reading more in this series? Check out part one, two, three and four!