Book Review | Loki’s Wolves by K. L. Armstrong & M. A. Marr

9780316204972Fresh off my reading high of Myths of the Norsemen by Roger Lancelyn Green, I was eager to dive into Loki’s Wolves, a middle grade adventure in the vein of Percy Jackson, but informed by the Norse mythology of which I am so fond.

Norse eschatology (the study of the end times) consists of the final battle between the Aesir (Odin, Thor, and family) and the evil race of Giants (aided by Loki and his children) called Ragnarök. Unlike most other religions, the gods of the north are killed in the battle.

In Loki’s Wolves, the gods of north are already long dead, but their descendents still walk the earth and must assume their role at Ragnarök. When thirteen-year-old Matt Thorsen first discovers that he is the human embodiment of Thor, he is happy if a bit overwhelmed. But when he remembers that Thor must die in the final battle–and that his grandfather is supportive of his death–he embarks on a plan to change the legend.

Is it possible to stop the Fimbulwinter and the end of all life without making the ultimate sacrifice himself?

The problem is that in order to change his destiny, Matt must rally the other human heirs of the gods to his cause, and the children of Loki can be a bit wolfish at times.

Loki’s Wolves by K. L. Armstrong & M. A. Marr is a quick read that focuses on the tension between family expectations and the bonds of friendship. It was a refreshing twist on Norse mythology that teaches as well as it entertains. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to fans of the other “gods-re-imagined-as-teenagers” books that are out there.

Parents should know that by its nature, threads of violence run throughout this book. All the same, I don’t feel that violence was glorified as the solution to problems. Rather, even the representative of Thor–a god who never had qualms with using his hammer to start or end a fight–seeks alternatives to violence when they are available.

The story continues in the next installment of The Blackwell Pages, Odin’s Ravens, which is also available now (and is next on my reading list).

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