The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec
Magical Realism, Norse/Viking Mythology
February 9, 2021
Kindle, Hardcover, Audiobook
When a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki, she risks the wrath of the gods in this moving, subversive debut novel that reimagines Norse mythology.
Angrboda’s story begins where most witches' tales end: with a burning. A punishment from Odin for refusing to provide him with knowledge of the future, the fire leaves Angrboda injured and powerless, and she flees into the farthest reaches of a remote forest. There she is found by a man who reveals himself to be Loki, and her initial distrust of him transforms into a deep and abiding love.
Their union produces three unusual children, each with a secret destiny, who Angrboda is keen to raise at the edge of the world, safely hidden from Odin’s all-seeing eye. But as Angrboda slowly recovers her prophetic powers, she learns that her blissful life—and possibly all of existence—is in danger.
With help from the fierce huntress Skadi, with whom she shares a growing bond, Angrboda must choose whether she’ll accept the fate that she’s foreseen for her beloved family...or rise to remake their future. From the most ancient of tales this novel forges a story of love, loss, and hope for the modern age.
Love this literary interpretation of lore…
A literary interpretation is a story that is based on an established mythology or oral tradition, includes many of the original characters and details, but creates a wonderfully rich saga by filling in the gaps or creating a fascinating backstory. The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec is a fabulous literary interpretation of Norse Mythology focusing on Angrboda, a Jotunn (giant) who was the mate of Loki (an infamous trickster and outsider among the gods), and the mother of Hel, Jormungand, and Fenrir. She is an obscure and relatively unknown character in both The Poetic and Prose Eddas (ancient Norse textbooks) but significant in her association to some of the most prominent figures instrumental in the Ragnarok, the end of the world battle resulting in the destruction of the gods.
Genevieve is one of my favorite types of authors, an in-depth researcher as well as a captivating story-teller. Her depth of knowledge of Norse mythology is impressive, I was compelled to investigate it myself and found her to stay true to both the personality and character of the Norse gods and the details of events that encompass the mythology. The interwoven story of Angrboda brings a unique and enthralling perspective to the fantastical tales of the gods.
The Witch’s Heart is a multi-layered story full of love, loss, betrayal, and determination. The fact that Angrboda is such an obscure figure in the ancient texts gives Genevieve the freedom to create a wonderfully rich and relatable character. Angrboda’s story is extremely compelling on its own merit, as she attempts to understand and survive after being burned and banished by the gods, and it entices you through page after page of beautifully written and executed narration. A tremendous story combined with seamless melding to these great Scandinavian tales makes The Witch’s Heart an extraordinarily stimulating and entertaining read you do not want to miss!
Tanya’s love for books has been a lifelong passion that she likes sharing with others. Reading is also the thing that relaxes her after a day of juggling the many responsibilities that come with being being wife to an amazing man, mother to four great kids spread around the world, business manager, and farm hand on their place in southwest Missouri; home to Akaushi cattle and a menagerie of pygmy goats, horses, chickens, dogs and cats.