20 November 2013

Thor: Viking God of Thunder by Graeme Davis [book review]

Thor: Viking God of Thunder by Graeme Davis
Thor: Viking God of Thunder
Written by Graeme Davis
Published by Osprey Adventures
Paperback - 80 pages
Published September 2013
Review copy provided by publisher
Like the rest of the books in the Myths and Legends series, Thor takes the complex and sometimes conflicting strands of a culture’s mythology and presents it into a quick, no-nonsense narrative that tells the important stories without being bogged down by discourse.

Thor takes a leaf out of the Dragonslayers book and deals with a collection of tales rather than a single narrative. Davis gives an overview of the Norse Creation Myth and the worlds that form the tree of Yggdrisil before diving into the tales of Thor’s heroic deeds.

What I liked especially abut Davis’ take on Norse mythology was the occasional focus on the humorous side of the stories, like Thor wearing a wedding dress in order to trick the frost giant Thrymr into giving back the magical hammer, Mjolnir.

This is a side of mythology that doesn’t often get covered, with authors and academics preferring to focus on the sweeping, epic tales. These little slices of humour show the humanity behind the legends and make them that much more relatable.

In addition to the big legends (Thor and the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, Ragnarok etc.), Davis also covers the lesser known tales, like how Loki is the father of the eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, that Odin uses as his steed.

Davis also covers Thor’s legacy a little, and how modern cultures have taken these tales and used them for their own ends, from White Supremacists to the Marvel creation we know and love today.

As can be expected from the Myths and Legends series, Thor is beautifully illustrated throughout,  using historical images as well as original artwork by …, which does a fantastic job of summing up the scenes in suitable epic fashion.

At 80 pages, Thor is a great way to sink your teeth into what for many people is an entirely new branch of mythology, and just in time for the release of Thor: The Dark World.

About the author
Jamie Gibbs is the bearded, bespectacled geek who runs Mithril Wisdom and drinks too much coffee, usually at the same time.
You can follow him on his Google+ or Twitter profiles for a daily dose of fanboy discourse.

2 comments:

  1. Cool that he includes some humor. Probably made it that much more enjoyable to read. Life isn't always serious!

    ReplyDelete
  2. HI Jamie, how was the house move?

    Love myths and legends so would thor-oughly enjoy this one. Atlantis is currently my must see tv show, again not because of its accuracy but love the humour.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting! Feel free to ask any questions you like here; I'll do my best to respond to every comment here.

Super bonus points for creativity and snark, but anything spammy of offensive will be removed (I'm looking at you!)

ShareThis