Worthy of Song and Story by Neal Chase
Summary from Goodreads:
Twelve year-old Stian’s plans to be the greatest Viking ever appear to be over before they even begin when he’s captured by Dahlia—a dark elf and a girl. If being captured by a girl wasn’t bad enough, he discovers he may be the son of Loki. The same Loki who is the greatest enemy of the Viking gods and the one foretold to bring about the end of the world.
Knowing he is meant to do more than just be an ordinary Viking, Stian decides to discover the truth himself and free Loki from the clutches of Odin. Only then, will he know who he is and what he is meant to do, and maybe, put the so-called gods in their place. But first Stian must out-think, trick, and defeat Thor’s children. To do this he will need the power of Gram—a sword that can cut through anything from stone walls to dragon scales. Only one pure of heart, with the desire to help others, is worthy of wielding the mighty sword. If Stian succeeds, he will become the world’s most famous Viking and make others see him as a hero, but if he fails he will fall victim to the gods’ merciless justice.
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.
I am embarrassed to say that this was a hold over from 2016 on Netgalley. For whatever reason I kept putting it off and I am sorry that I did for it was a really good story and deserves more attention. I think it is meant to be the first in a series but I have not found any indication that more are to be published which is a shame.
This is a pretty short and fast paced read about Stian who is a viking in training. There is no holding back in how brutal being a viking can be in the opening chapters, but Stian soon moves away from this to his true adventure, rescuing Loki. I have read a lot of stories based on Norse myths and I have somehow missed that Loki is not a god but a Juton, a giant in Norse myths. I always knew that he didn’t quite fit in with the other gods and that is why he spends his time tricking them and generally making a nuisance of himself, but this new aspect to his identity was a surprise to me.
I really liked Stian, he was funny and most importantly acted like a twelve year old. I appreciated that when he discovered that he could shape shift like his dad, he talked a lot about how much it hurt to become a beaver or a hawk and what it felt like to have feathers come out of your skin. It wasn’t just a simple change, but it took effort and was painful, and he was always naked when he turned back which was amusing sometimes. His relationship with Dahlia was good and realistic as well. She was a delightful character as well. Strong and can wield fire, but there is more to her than we get to see in this book. Hopefully if there are more books we will get to hear more about her background.
In most of the myths Thor is never depicted as being particularly smart, but his two sons in this one, were perhaps a bit too dumb. Stian outwits them a little too easily. But it was fun watching him do it.
A well done book based on Norse myths that would be good for fans of books based on any mythologies. It would also be good for those reluctant readers who need a short, fast paced and funny read. I do hope we get to see more of Stian and Dahlia, but this is a good stand alone as well.