Author(s): Neil Philip
The Vikings were warlike adventurers with a strong sense of justice, and the high drama of their myths and legends, retold through the centuries, are still as vivid and enduring today. The stories are full of excitement and encompass both broad comedy and heart-rending tragedy. At the centre of the stories are the thunder god Thor, and the frost giant, Loki, Odin's foster brother, who becomes one of the gods but is never fully accepted by them. Through the tales the themes of love, betrayal, courage and compassion are played out from the dawn of time to the end of the world. Their stories are among the foundation stones of Western culture, and young readers will enjoy these highly accessible retelling of the Norse myths, with stories about the adventures of Odin, father of the gods and his children, the trials and tribulations of the trickster Loki, the rages of the thunder god Thor, and Freya, the goddess of fertility, magic and war who gathers the souls of the warriors slain in battle. Ideal to read aloud or for older readers to enjoy discovering by themselves, artist Maryclare Foa's bold, eloquent paintings capture the excitement, humour and drama of these powerful stories in strong, simple images that linger in the mind.