Twilight of the Gods (Grimnir Series)

Written by Scott Oden
Review by Thomas j. Howley

In 1218 AD, the Raven Geats are holding onto their lands in central Scandinavia and their ancient gods, surrounded by hostile Swedes, Norse and Danes, all of whom have become Christian. Now they are besieged by a crusading Christian army intent on finding a saint’s relic and replacing the last vestiges of paganism in the North. The Geats’ defense will rely on a young woman shield-maiden, a mysterious witch with her band of berserkers, and their people’s traditional defender, Grimnir, the herald of Loki the tangled god and a monster-like avenger. The author explains Grimnir’s last major battle was two hundred years earlier at Clontarf, where the Irish Gaels broke the back of the Norse.

This novel is a fantasy with a teenaged Supergirl and an invulnerable witch woman but also includes trolls, dwarves and a dragon to please traditionalists. Second in a series, it is a complex tale immersed in intricate Nordic mythology. Filled with era-appropriate violence and gore, there is also a theme of impending world’s end to add to the tension and drama. Recommended for fans of fantasy and Nordic legends.