New Read: The Gospel of Loki

The Gospel of Loki

I was so excited when I received a copy of The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M Harris; as I’d heard good things about the author. Sadly though this book languished on my Kindle until last month the Once Upon a Time X event inspired me to put it on my summer TBR pile.

In Harris’ first adult’s fantasy novel we are taken back into ancient Norse Mythology. To a time of gods, ice giants and demons. We see the rise of the All-Father, Odin; his recruitment of the powerful and beautiful to become gods beside him; the golden years of Asgard; to the ultimate betrayal and bloody fall during the Ragnarök. This is those old Norse tales with a twist though…as Harris retells this history from the point-of-view of Loki, the trickster god. Loki tell us he is a seriously misunderstood character and he is taking this opportunity to tell us the true version of events and set the record straight.

Loki, the Light-Bringer and trickster god, describes himself as the misunderstood, elusive, handsome and modest hero of this tale. Whilst we might know Loki best for his notorious reputation for trickery, deception and cruel pranks. I can agree Loki is most definitely elusive and sometimes misunderstood and mistreated too, however he is far from modest or particularly heroic either. Our narrator is in fact vain, deceitful, selfish and his notorious reputation is well-deserved. He wasn’t a nice protagonist to read about but his point-of-view is fascinating and often very amusing too – whether you believe his version is up to you. Personally I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him!

This is the first novel I have read by Joanne M Harris. While I have been tempted by a few of her novels, I was particularly interested in this one because of my childhood love of Norse Mythology. I can’t claim to be an expert on this mythology however as I read this fond memories of stories and the different Gods and monsters came flooding back to me. Then on top of that, you have the inspired choice to pick the unlikely protagonist of Loki. I was really impressed with how Harris made Loki into a well-rounded and believable character. And whether or not you like him or believe a word he says, there really is always two sides to every story.

The Gospel of Loki was an interesting and refreshing twist on the ancient Norse Mythology, which was a pleasure to read and surpassed my high expectations. Now, I am seriously interested in reading more of Joanne Harris’ novels. Great read.

Thank you to the publishers for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

Have you read this? What Joanne Harris’ novels would you recommend?

10 Books of Summer – 1/10
Once Upon a Time X – #7

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10 thoughts on “New Read: The Gospel of Loki

  1. So pleased you liked this too. I love JH. If you want some recommendations then I’m always happy! Chocolat, Holy Fools, Blackberry Wine, Coastliners – loved all of those two – and probably more if I just think about it for half a second.
    Lynn 😀

    1. Lynn that’s lots of recommendations, thank you 🙂 Chocolat is the one I’ve heard the most about and a few people have named Blackberry Wine, but Holy Fools and Coastliners are new-to-me.

  2. I enjoyed Chocolat and Blackberry Wine, though slightly less, but then drifted away from her. Seems she might be writing slightly weightier stuff now – I have an ARC of her new one, Different Class, and am keen to see how she’s developed since I last read her…

    1. FictionFan, you are the second person to name Chocolat and Blackberry Wine – I am very interested in reading and watching Chocolat. I hope you enjoy her new novel Different Class and I look forward to your thoughts on it.

  3. I am so happy to hear that this is a good Joanne Harris novel! I love trickster tales. I have read Chocolat (and happily for you, there is a movie) as well as Blackberry Wine. I loved Chocolat but was disappointed with Blackberry Wine. I have always wanted to read Runemarks. I think it might have been her first one having to do with the Norse gods. Thanks for your review!

    1. Judy you’re very welcome and if you love trickster tales then this might be a great book for you too. Chocolat is the one I have heard the most about and of course the film with Johnny Depp too – I would love to read the book and then watch the film. I haven’t heard of Blackberry Wine or Runemarks, but if the latter is about Norse gods I am very interested 😀

  4. I wasn’t aware of this book; thank you, Jessica. Another genre added to Joanne Harris’ list – she has covered such a range in her novels. I’ve read several, all different, and some I liked better than others because of the genre, but they were all well-written and very readable. And generally highly original.

    1. Hello Sandra and you’re very welcome. And thank you, to you too, for stopping by and commenting – it is always lovely to hear from a new face 🙂 I am pleased to hear you have enjoyed many of Harris’ novels – sounds like I should definitely try more.

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