****I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review****
Norse Mythology lovers, rejoice! “The Exile of Fenrir” is just the thing to scratch that mythology retelling itch you probably didn’t even know you had—until now. This is the story of one of Norse Mythologies shapeshifting giants, Fenrir, and his siblings as they run afoul of the gods in Asgard, and the punishment/judgement they face thereafter. The names you recognize thanks to the Marvel movies, such as Thor, Loki, and Odin, all make an appearance, but stay in the role the mythology originally intended. So, if you are looking for a heroic tale of Thor battling creatures of legend, this isn’t the story for you, though if you are a fan of Thor and his friends, I’d still recommend giving this a read anyway as it presents a different perspective. Ultimately, if you love mythology retellings that stick a bit closer to their source material, then I urge you to give this book a read!
If you are familiar with some of the more popular Norse tales, you’ll be familiar with all the characters in Curson’s book as well as their origin stories, and their main “quests”. I am vaguely familiar with the stories myself, and still enjoyed Curson’s interpretation, and the way he presents the gods of Asgard, and their giant adversaries. If you are unfamiliar with those stories, I found the “Exile of Fenrir” to be a fun introduction to those mythologies, and it left me with a desire to go and read more about the characters that make appearances throughout Fenrir’s time in Asgard.
I really enjoyed this book, and while it’s not a high intensity page turner like you may expect given the pace of the Marvel films, the pacing is good, and I found myself enjoying the steadiness of the story telling. The book is written in a style that felt a bit like an old translation, if you had to read anything by Homer regarding the Trojan War or the Odyssey, you’ll know what I mean. I thought the novelty of writing the story in this way would eventually wear off, but it didn’t and I was impressed Curson was able to keep it up as well as he did, with only a few instances where I felt like “modern” slang was being used. I also felt this book was a great start, but would like it if it were part of a series! Not that anything is left unanswered, you know where Fenrir’s siblings end up and what the shapeshifter ultimately means to do, but the setup up was so good for all these different godly characters, that I yearned to read what happens next.
I want there to be more tales from Curson about what happens with Hel in the underworld, and Jor’s time spent with humans, and what happens to Fenrir after his last successful battle. Fenrir is such a deep character with very relatable emotions and interpersonal conflict that I want to read more about his adventures. Too often in these mythology retellings so many liberties are taken that they don’t maintain that familiar feel of a story you recognize, but in this book it feels like you are getting the behind the scenes story, and I loved that. Well written historical fictions pull that off splendidly, and I think Curson does as well in his take on Norse Mythology, and for that I give this book the full 5 stars!
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