|Thor: Viking God of Thunder|
Written by Graeme Davis
Published by Osprey Adventures
Paperback - 80 pages
Published September 2013
Review copy provided by publisher
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.