The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris is a retelling of the Norse myths from Loki’s perspective and it is just as funny and irreverent as you would expect! I was impressed with the balance of justifying Loki’s some rather questionable actions, telling the original tales, and having a whole lot of fun all at the same time. If you have even just a passing interest in Norse mythology but are on the Loki fan-club bandwagon, The Gospel of Loki isn’t to be missed!
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Gospel of Loki from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris
Published by Saga Press on May 5th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fairytale Retelling, Fantasy
Page Length: 288 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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The novel is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods - retold from the point of view of the world's ultimate trickster, Loki. 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. Using her life-long passion for the Norse myths, Joanne Harris has created a vibrant and powerful fantasy novel.
Loki, that’s me.
Loki, the Light-Bringer, the misunderstood, the elusive, the handsome and modest hero of this particular tissue of lies. Take it with a pinch of salt, but it’s at least as true as the official version, and, dare I say it, more entertaining.
So far, history, such as it is, has cast me in a rather unflattering role.
Now it’s my turn to take the stage.
With his notorious reputation for trickery and deception, and an ability to cause as many problems as he solves, Loki is a Norse god like no other. Demon-born, he is viewed with deepest suspicion by his fellow gods who will never accept him as one of their own and for this he vows to take his revenge.
From his recruitment by Odin from the realm of Chaos, through his years as the go-to man of Asgard, to his fall from grace in the build-up to Ragnarok, this is the unofficial history of the world’s ultimate trickster.
- The Gospel of Loki is above all quite hilarious. I was reading passages aloud to the husband and looking at him in shock when he didn’t have to pull over from laughter; I guess context is important ;-). I knew that I could pick up The Gospel of Loki whenever I wanted to have a good chuckle.
- I don’t know a whole lot about the Norse myths but had no trouble following along with each of the stories. Loki does a good job of reporting the events that happened leading up to his decisions and gives cute nicknames to everyone so it’s easy to tell all the gods and goddesses apart, ha.
- At no point in The Gospel of Loki does Loki suffer from a bout of uncharacteristic heroism. He is the epitome of the anti-hero who makes some downright bad decisions, but doesn’t really mind and you can’t help but see his point of view.
- I love how The Gospel of Loki handled Loki’s back story since it explains a lot of his actions quite realistically. He is partially an element of Chaos, so it really just makes sense for him to sometimes get the urge to do crazy things just because!
- If you are looking for a light and fast summer read, The Gospel of Loki is a perfect choice.
- The Gospel of Loki is pretty much an overview of all the Norse myths from Loki’s perspective so there isn’t a strong plot beyond the coming of Ragnarok. Loki is really just setting the record straight in hindsight.
- Fairly often Loki would use modern phrases when discussing events that happened long before modern times. I could kind of justify it since he is supposed to be explaining things from the past, but it still really threw me out of the story sometimes.
The Gospel of Loki is a whole lot of fun for fans of Norse mythology who have always felt a bit sympathetic to the trickster. I think this is my favorite depiction of Loki other than our favorite alien ;-). I’m quite curious to hear from any of you that know more about Norse mythology than I do if The Gospel of Loki sticks close to the traditional versions or not, anyone know?
Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris
© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.