Norse myths Tales of Odin, Thor, and Loki

Kevin Crossley-Holland

Book - 2017

The gods of the Vikings come to life as never before in this extraordinary illustrated anthology by Carnegie Medal-winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland and artist Jeffrey Alan Love. Fast-moving and ice-bright, these dramatic, enthralling and atmospheric tales are based on the Scandinavian myth cycle - one of the greatest and most culturally significant stories in the world. The stories of dazzling magic and thrilling journeys tell of the creation of the nine worlds and follow Odin with his one ...eye, Thor with his mighty hammer and Loki the shape-shifting trickster on their adventures until the final great battle of Ragnarok. In this stunning collection of myths, the strange world of ancient magic, gods, giants and dwarfs is unforgettably imagined.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 293/Crossley-Holland Checked In
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Studio, an imprint of Candlewick Press [2017]
First U.S. edition
Physical Description
v, 225 pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Main Author
Kevin Crossley-Holland (author)
Other Authors
Jeffrey Alan Love (illustrator)
  • Gods and goddessess
  • Dwarfs and giants
  • The Norse world
  • In the beginning
  • The wall of Asgard
  • Who we are
  • Mouthfuls of poetry
  • Three grisly children
  • Apples of youth
  • Choosing a husband
  • The treasures of the gods
  • Thor regains his hammer
  • Skirnir
  • Thor's great journey to Utgard
  • Thor goes fishing
  • Thor's duel with Hrungnir
  • Otter's ransom and the gold ring
  • Geirrod
  • Alvis outwitted
  • Balder's dreams
  • The death of Balder
  • Vengeance
  • The last battle.
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* When he was a boy, Crossley-Holland writes, reading Norse myths made him yell and laugh and cry. Today, though the Carnegie Medal–winning author's imaginative retellings of these ancient stories may still foster yelling and crying, there will be precious little laughing, as the myths are somber in tone and heroic in execution. They begin, logically, with the beginning of the world, and end, tragically, with the death of the gods, but with the hopeful hint of a new beginning. The principal players in these timeless tales are Odin, ruler of the gods; Thor, his mighty, hammer-wielding son; and the shape-shifting trickster god Loki. It is the clever Loki who is the most interesting of the three as he evolves from an antic, sometimes annoying presence to a jealous, vengeful being that brings about the death of Balder, the most beautiful and beloved of the gods. Crossley-Holland's inspired text is straightforward and largely unadorned in a way that makes it timeless. Meanwhile, Love's eye-popping expressionist illustrations, rendered in acrylics and ink, decorate almost every page, beautifully creating an often sinister atmosphere that expands the tone of the text. Together words and pictures work to memorable effect, doubtlessly inspiring their young readers to yell and cry. The myths have seldom been better served. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

The brutal, mischievous, and fascinating stories of Norse mythology unfold in lively and dramatic retellings, which introduce the gods and goddesses of Asgard, as well as the dwarves and giants of Midgard and Jotunheim. Trickery, betrayals, journeys, and transformations fill these 20 tales, and the panoply of mythological figures loom large in Love's nightmarish silhouettes—mottled and sharp-edged, they look as though they've been carved from rock. A sense of foreboding and old world magic permeates the collection; readers new to these ancient stories may well react as Crossley-Holland did, as he explains in the book's foreword: "When I first read these stories as a boy, I yelled and laughed and cried a little, and I knew myself a bit better." Ages 10–up. (Oct.) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 7 Up—A collection of tales of the Norse gods and goddesses through the eyes and ears of Gylfi—a king of Sweden who "knew a great deal more than most men and women because he listened to storytellers and because he was curious and had a good memory." Gylfi searches for more knowledge about the legends by journeying on foot across the rainbow bridge (Bifrost) to Asgard—home to the deities—disguised as a "stumbling, fumbling" tramp called Gangleri. A man juggling "seven glittering knives" leads the king/tramp into Valhalla, where three wise kings on three high seats gladly answer his questions about the 13 gods and 13 goddesses and Viking history. The tales in this volume are somewhat smoother retellings of those in the author's Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings. When Gylfi returns as an old man, the three kings prophesy the end of the Norse world in a great war between good and evil and the beginnings of a new civilization. This stunning volume, heavily illustrated with somewhat gruesome, predominantly black acrylic and ink paintings in block print and silhouette style, provides an excellent introduction to Norse mythology. VERDICT A good choice for middle and high school collections.—Susan Scheps, formerly at Shaker Public Library, OH Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

An introduction to Norse mythology traces the creation of the nine worlds through the final battle of Ragnarok, detailing the stories of the Viking gods including the all-powerful Odin, the hammer-wielding Thor and the infamous trickster Loki. By the award-winning author of The Seeing Stone.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Long-recognized master of Norse mythology Kevin Crossley-Holland pairs with award-winning artist Jeffrey Alan Love for an exceptional look at the Viking gods.A collaboration by two talented creators provides the perfect means to delve into Norse mythology and pore over the enthralling exploits of all-powerful Odin; mighty Thor and his hammer, Mjolnir; and Loki, the infamous trickster. From the creation of the nine worlds to the final battle of Ragnarok, Carnegie Medal winner Kevin Crossley-Holland details the Viking gods as never before, while Jeffrey Alan Love's lavish illustrations bring the mythic figures to life on the page. Readers will be caught up in the seesawing struggle for power between gods, dwarfs, and giants, punctuated by surprising love matches, thrilling journeys, and dazzling magic. With its well-researched, lyrical prose and its dramatic and powerful artwork, this wonderful gift edition makes the perfect book for both the staunchest fans of mythology and newcomers with no knowledge of Viking folklore.