A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Violence & Scariness
Lots of fantasy violence, some a bit gory. A man is beaten into unconsciousness, hit in the shoulder by a crossbolt, stabbed, and slashed; a wolf rips out a man's throat. The characters experience gruesome visions of torment in the Underworld.
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"Bitch" and "bastard" used infrequently; "bulls--t" is said once.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
References to drinking and drunkenness, pipe smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this story has, like the Norse mythology upon which it's based, moments of rather grim violence. There's also some swearing and references to drinking, drunkenness, and pipe smoking.
Is It Any Good?
You have to admire an author who can think big. As armies clash and worlds collide across the infinite plains of Hel, you'll be reminded of other great epic fantasies: Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, or Pullman's His Dark Materials. This may not be on quite the same level as those classics, lacking their propulsive motion along a clear path, but it has their epic scope and exciting grandeur.
Every mythology has its own unique mood and consciousness. If Greek myth has the clarity of the Aegean light, and Egyptian myth the shifting aspect of desert sands, Norse myth has the fuzziness and confusion of the bleak, cold darkness of northern wastes. Readers will get more out of this if they have some familiarity with Norse mythology, but even so, as the worlds of Dream and Chaos impinge on Order, much is left unclear. Still, it's a wild ride with an appealing protagonist, and this post-Ragnarok mash-up will have experienced readers gleefully buzzing through its more than 500 pages.
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Our Editors Recommend
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