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?