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!