Book Review: The Witch’s Heart

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Title: The Witch’s Heart
Author: Genevieve Gornichec
Publication Date: 2021
Publishing House: Penguin Audio

I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. So, I decided to download this book from the library and loved it.

Goodreads 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.

So often the stories of the gods, any gods are from any mythology, are told from an outside prospective. This story is different, this tale is told by someone whose life is intertwined with that of the gods. In this case the gods of Norse myth, the Gods of Asgard. In particular the Æsir and Vanir.

Thor and Odin are often portrayed as heroes, Loki is always the bad guy – especially in the Marvel universe. However, there are always two sides to every story. Angrboda is on the receiving end of the Æsir’s actions. Her children are pulled from her arms out of fear by those that don’t understand them. Norse mythology tells us that the gods tossed Jormungand into the ocean to become the world snake. Fenrir is lock away from the world in special made ropes fashioned by the dwarves.

From Angrboda’s perspective, from a mother’s perspective, the gods are the villains. They took what was most important to her. She lived the ages along side them, hearing about their deeds and the deaths of those that appeared to wrong them. I really enjoyed this insiders look into mythology. Loki’s pranks told from his perspective and seeing his love for his family.

I suggest this book for fans of Norse mythology, for fans of those who enjoying diving into myths from a woman’s perspective, and for those that enjoy looking at things from a different angle. Happy reading.

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