NONFICTION

Tales of Valhalla: Norse Myths and Legends

Pegasus. Sept. 2018. 288p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781681778464. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781681779126. LIT
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Adapting translations of original Old Norse sources, including the Prose Edda, Poetic Edda, and various medieval sagas, coauthors Martyn Whittock and Hannah Whittock (1016 & 1066: Why the Vikings Caused the Norman Conquest) compile an engaging collection of stories featuring Norse gods Odin, Thor, Loki, and other legendary figures. This volume is divided into two parts—the first centers on the mythology of the gods, the second focuses on tales of heroes and royal lineages. A brief introduction explores the history of the Vikings and their settlement patterns, as well as the origin of the source materials. Concise overviews of each story identify significant themes and place them within a historical context.
VERDICT With recent volumes, such as Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology and J.R.R. Tolkien's posthumously published The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrún, appealing more to readers strictly interested in creative takes on classic Norse tales, this title attracts new readers by offering solid retellings and contextual information that serve as a valuable introduction to this rich tradition.

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