A witch by many names, Angroboda in this life, is sought out by Odin who wants to use her gifts to find an answer to something. Her heart gets ripped out and yet she survives. Loki, yes that Loki, eventually finds it and gives it back to her. She recluses at the edge of the world where most don’t wander. Loki visits from time to time. Eventually they fall in love, get married, and have children. All this time, Angroboda can’t remember what’s happened in her past lives. She keeps having dreams where Odin is still trying to access her power to find an answer to a question she is unsure of. What could possibly happen?
MY RECAP AND REVIEW
I came across this book while looking for a mythology book. I was fresh off of Circe and The Song of Achilles and wanted more. This book didn’t hold up to what I was looking for.
The first half of the book is set up. It shows you how Loki and Angroboda end up falling in love. It shows how Angroboda survives- by befriending and bartering with Skadi, who brings her food and goods in exchange for her salves and magic. In the first half of the book, we see Loki’s unreliability and his love of mischief. We see how he doesn’t feel like he fits in with the other gods but still strives to live among them. We see that he always ends up coming back to Angroboda who usually fixes whatever he gets himself into.
In the second half of the book, Angroboda births children. Loki has another wife in the town where he is living with the gods. Skadi isn’t sure who Angroboda is married to but tells her over and over again she deserves better. She ends up birthing three children- one who is half dead, one that is a wolf, and one that is a snake. She doesn’t seem too concerned about their forms, but she is worried because her dreams have been showing her more and more of a prophecy. Eventually Odin is able to tap into her power and discover what he is looking for- an answer to how the world ends.
The next part of the book, (determined by how I am separating it not how the author has), is a road of self discovery for Angroboda. She realizes she is the famous witch who people talk about in whispers but are unsure if that person exists. She rediscovers herself and taps into her power. She sees her prophecy play out and realizes her entire family may have a role in it.
Then the finale occurs and the prophecy turns reality.
It took me months to finish this book, partly because I misplaced it. Partly because I put other books as a priority. I liked how this book started and how it ended, but the middle was slow and boring. I was invested enough to see where it was going, but I understand not being able to finish it.
The chemistry between Loki and Angrboda is undeniable. It’s what I enjoyed most about the beginning of the book. She really loves him and holds onto him, even when he’s shitty. After a while, I couldn’t help but think STAND UP!! Loki was really awful to her up to the end. Maybe he did love her, but not enough.
I had no idea the direction this was going in and I was very surprised at the birth of her children. This is where I would say the tone shifted in the book. It became dull as we see her cope with being a mother of unconventional children. (This isn’t why it was dull.) It got to be repetitive and over explained. Loki is absent and her baby is growing in an abnormal way. There is also time jumps over the course of this section because she ends up having three children and we see the birth of all three. The book also still feels as though they’re setting up relationships and dynamics for what’s to come later.
The turning point is the betrayal by Skadi’s cousin who had become a friend to the family. The pace speeds up slightly here as it becomes more plot driven.
Overall, I don’t have much to say about this book. It was character driven somewhat to its detriment because Angrboda honestly is not that interesting of a character. Even the idea of her past lives isn’t as explained as I feel it should be. I give this book 1 out of 5 stars. I don’t recommend.
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