January 21, 2021

#BookReview: The Witch's Heart by @gengornichec @Netgalley @AceBooks






Synopsis: When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this moving, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse mythology.

Angrboda's story begins where most witches' tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.

Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin's all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.

With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she's foreseen for her beloved family…or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age.



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Rating: 5 Stars
My Review: 
I absolutely loved this retelling of Norse mythology! Gornichec tells the story of the often overlooked Angrboda. In traditional myths she is only known as the mother of three of Loki's children, but in this telling she is so much more. Powerful witch, mother of giants, the one who bore the wolves who chase the sun and moon, Loki's wife, mother of monsters, lover of Skadi, healer, and protector. While Angrboda is by far my favourite character in this story, I did also fall in love with Loki. There was such a soft side to him that made me think of him as more than just the trickster.  This is a book that once you start you won't be able to put it down. I'm also a sucker for glossaries, so I loved that the author included glossaries of the characters, races, and places at the end. 







Review

"A deep journey into the mists of the ancient Norse world of gods, monsters and humans, who shape shift from one to another.  But the heart of the story is a witch’s passage over many lifetimes and the ultimate sacrifice she makes for those she loves. A timeless tale of great power and artistry."--Margaret George, New York Times bestselling author of The Splendor Before the Dark

“With prose as heady as any epic, Gornichec breathes incredible new life into an ancient saga, filling in the gaps with humor and passion and heart. A masterpiece.”--Emily A. Duncan, New York Timesbestselling author of Wicked Saints and Ruthless Gods

“Rich and artfully woven, The Witch’s Heart takes the familiar tales of Norse Mythology and tells them from a fresh, honest perspective… Angrboda is an unforgettable heroine, and The Witch’s Heart a debut to be reckoned with.”--Hannah Long, author of Hall of Smoke 

"The Witch’s Heart is a unique novel that transforms the faceless names of an epic tale into living, breathing, sympathetic characters. With a witty and spirited protagonist, this book will surprise and delight from beginning to end."—Louisa Morgan, author of A Secret History of Witches and The Age of Witches 

"As epic as it is engrossing, The Witch’s Heart is a testament to the ferocity of one mother’s love and the lengths she’ll go to protect those she loves. Utterly unforgettable.” —Alexis Henderson, author ofThe Year of the Witching 

"This fascinating novel approaches Norse mythology from a brand new perspective; here old villains are now heroes, and the motivations of gods, giants, and witches are rarely what they seem... Gornichec plumbs the depths of what we will endure for family, belonging, and meaning, and traces the limits of love, friendship, and vengeance."--Linnea Hartsuyker, author of The Half-Drowned King

“A retelling of the Norse legend from the viewpoint of a woman often left in the margins, this book deserves to be a classic. For readers of Madeline Miller’s Circe and the Marvel version of Loki.” – Library Journal (starred review)
 
“A feminist reimagining of the Norse myths surrounding Ragnarök…melding together the wide range of Nordic legends, this is a story of tenderness and betrayal, friendship and loyalty, family and monsters, beginnings and endings. Offer this beautiful reimagining to fans of Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology (2017) and Joanne M. Harris’ Loki novels.”–Booklist (starred review)

About the Author

Genevieve Gornichec earned her degree in history from The Ohio State University, but she got as close to majoring in Vikings as she possibly could, and her study of the Norse myths and Icelandic sagas became her writing inspiration. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio. The Witch's Heart is her debut novel.









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