Ever wondered what would happen if you let the Norse Gods tell their version of events? Well, The Gospel of Loki (2014) will answer that question for you. Except it’s one god telling all stories. And conveniently, it’s the Chaos God Loki, so that promises a lot of fun.
I’m a very big fan of Norse mythology. I’m not sure what drew me into it, but I’ve read many books on the myths, all told from a unique perspective. But Norse myths being told from the viewpoint of one of the gods was new to me, so I dove right into The Gospel of Loki. The book starts off giving you small introductions to all the “characters” in the book. You’ll notice that a couple of those say “not a fan of yours truly,” which is a key indicator to how Loki is going to describe his fellow deities.
Where it all began…
Just like any other book, it starts at the beginning. The story starts with the creation of the nine realms, which Loki describes to the best of his abilities. He speaks about how he was created from Chaos and was formed into a god. He tells the story of him trying to blend in with the other deities and the annoyance he feels along the way. He’s brutally honest, likes to pull pranks, and is as charming as ever. He’ll take you on a journey through the Norse myths, all the way to Ragnarok. It’s a ride, but a fun one. You’ll laugh with him, feel sorry for him, and will probably say “Loki, no…” a few times while shaking your head.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away. No one’s immune to bribery.” – Loki
The book tells most of the popular Norse myths that are around, from the time Thor was hoisted in a wedding dress, to the numerous stories where someone wanted to marry Freya. You’ll also encounter the famous Lokasenna and that one time Loki gave birth to an eight-legged horse (yeah, you read that right …). Loki won’t spare you the details and will tell you all about the good, the bad, and the ugly.
What makes this book so fun to read is Loki’s sense of humor. It really is what you would expect from the God of Mischief, Fire, and Chaos. He’s a trickster, so you’ll certainly have a couple laughs while reading this. Despite every chapter being a different story, Joanne Harris really managed to knit it all together into one long string of events. That’s what makes this book easy to read, because it just reads like any other book with a ongoing plot.
“Loki, that’s me. Loki, the Light-Bringer, the misunderstood, the elusive, the handsome and modest hero of this particular tissue of lies.” – Loki
Not your average myth
Not only is The Gospel of Loki a fun book to read, it’s also very informative. You really learn a lot about all the lesser known deities and creatures, as well as the landscapes of the nine realms. It’s clear that Joanne Harris did her research and did it well. Even I learned some new things, and I was already pretty well versed on the Norse myths. Of course, some parts of Norse mythology rely on speculation, because a lot of scripts and poems were lost. So it’s only natural for the writer to add in some things that may not be completely accurate.
If you’re looking to read something that’s both informative and funny, I definitely recommend reading The Gospel Of Loki. Especially if you’re a fan of Marvel’s portrayal of the Chaos God, you’ll enjoy this book. Maybe one inspired the other, or they both just nailed his personality from old transcripts, but either way, they have the same vibe.
To close it off; a quote from Loki in the book, which might sum up why it was written:
“Well, that’s history for you, folks. Unfair, untrue, and, for the most part, written by folks who weren’t even there.”