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Books about Norse mythology

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Charliekat
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Books about Norse mythology

Post by Charliekat » Tue June 23rd, 2009, 11:32 pm

I was wondering if anyone knows of a historical fantasy novel that deals with Norse mythology? I kind of want something that uses actual myths and characters rather than something loosely based off them or inspired by them.

Thanks :)

Cuchulainn
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Post by Cuchulainn » Wed June 24th, 2009, 1:59 am

I'm looking forward to seeing some suggestions here.

I don't know of any books like this, but I would certainly be interested in something like what you describe.

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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Wed June 24th, 2009, 5:57 am

There are quite a few based on early sagas, though this would be more in the "legends" category than the "myths" category. You can try the "Medieval Scandinavia" page at HistoricalNovels.info: http://www.historicalnovels.info/Mediev ... navia.html. The ones that especially caught my attention are by Poul Anderson (one being Hrolf Kraki's Saga) and Bernard King (Starkadder is the first in a trilogy). I haven't read them, so can't say much about the content.
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Post by Carla » Wed June 24th, 2009, 9:22 am

I really like Kevin Crossley-Holland's retelling of the myths. "The Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings". Penguin, 1980, ISBN 0-14-006056-1. It isn't a novel, it's a retelling of the myths (mainly from Snorri Sturluson' Prose Edda) in modern English, so it reads a bit like a short story collection. The characters and events are every bit as vivid as any novel.
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Leo62
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Post by Leo62 » Wed June 24th, 2009, 9:27 am

I'd recommend Bloodtide and Bloodsong by Melvin Burgess - a dystopian sf version of the Norse Volsunger (sp?) saga.

It's teen fiction, but great, lipsmacking stuff & Burgess is an excellent writer.

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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Wed June 24th, 2009, 10:40 am

As a child, I loved the book on the Norse myths by Roger Lancelyn Green, who wrote several books for children on all the major mythological tales.

The 'Arthor' series by AA Attanasio was an Arthurian retelling that also combined elements of the Norse myths - or something.. To me, it was just a ridiculously convoluted and unintelligible mess and I couldn't stick with it - but the series has lots of fans.

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Post by Alaric » Wed June 24th, 2009, 12:25 pm

Those Poul Anderson novels listed on your site, Margaret, seem very interesting. I've always been intrigued by Harold Hardrada. I don't know where I'll track them down though.

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Post by Ludmilla » Wed June 24th, 2009, 2:56 pm

[quote=""Carla""]I really like Kevin Crossley-Holland's retelling of the myths. "The Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings". Penguin, 1980, ISBN 0-14-006056-1. It isn't a novel, it's a retelling of the myths (mainly from Snorri Sturluson' Prose Edda) in modern English, so it reads a bit like a short story collection. The characters and events are every bit as vivid as any novel.[/quote]


Another retelling (one of my favorites, in fact) is Padraic Colum's Children of Odin (I think now available on Gutenberg, but the paperback edition is a must have in my library). It's beautifully written .

If you don't mind YA fiction, Nancy Farmer's Sea of Trolls is fun... the latter half of the book incorporates a good bit of Norse mythology.

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Post by annis » Wed June 24th, 2009, 7:30 pm

Posted by Alaric
Those Poul Anderson novels listed on your site, Margaret, seem very interesting. I've always been intrigued by Harold Hardrada. I don't know where I'll track them down though.
I picked up Poul Anderson's "Last Viking" trilogy about Harald Hardrada quite cheaply from Abebooks. I did have to keep checking till I found each book listed at a reasonable price, though- pays to be patient!
Also worth a read is Michael Ennis' epic novel, "Byzantium", which is the story of Harald Hardrada, focusing on his years as a Varangian Guard.
PA also wrote a rather unusual novel about the origin of the Norse gods, Odin et al, called "The Golden Slave", which has the appearance of historical adventure about the Cimbri

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Post by annis » Wed June 24th, 2009, 7:37 pm

Some more HF based on the Völsung saga:

Diana L Paxson's "Wodan's Children" trilogy
and
Stephan Grundy's "Rhinegold"

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