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qwallath

Qwallath

Hi, I'm Oscar, a historical linguist from the Netherlands who also likes to write about music, games, and history. Check out my longer blog posts and other writings on Sub Specie.

Currently reading

Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo
Mary Douglas
Signs: an Introduction to Semiotics
Thomas A. Sebeok, Marcel Danesi
Language and Space
Lynn Nadel, Mary A. Peterson, Paul Bloom
The Gospel of Loki - Joanne M Harris

In the end, as Harris got more into her story, a retelling of the main Eddic myths concerning the gods, so did I. As I mentioned earlier, much of the books appeal can be attributed to the strength of the original myths, but Harris must be commended for pouring it all into accessible prose. 

 

As the story progresses and Loki gets more serious, due to the nearing of Ragnarok, the book is less bogged down by (mostly) weak attempts at humour and puns, and a bit of the gravity of the myths starts to sink in.

 

While Harris overall doesn't stray far from the plot points of the original myths, which I suppose is for the best, she does indulge into a bit of — in my opinion, felicitous —interpretation when it comes to the role of the witch Gullveig-Heid. The place of this witch/goddess of the Vanir in the myth cycle is expanded, and Harris gives her an interesting role related to the overarching struggle between Order and Chaos, with Loki, as you'd expect, stuck in the middle.

 

So yes, the book warmed to me after the halfway point, and it's definitely worth a read, particularly if you're a bit rusty in the ol' nordic myth department, and want a nice prose retelling of some of the major struggles.