Book Review: Norse Myths & Tales

It's good to see that there are plenty of new books introducing our religion to the general populace. The more we are known, the easier it is for others to accept us without freaking out. I picked up such a book at my local shop. The title is Norse Myths & Tales and it is copyrighted 2017 from Flame Tree Publishing (ISBN: 9781786646552).

This is an attractive, hardcover book in black with dark blue patterns. The silver lettering helps the title show up well. More importantly, it only cost about thirteen dollars at my local Barnes and Noble. The nice appearance and low price may encourage more people to purchase.

The content is not bad, but not very deep. It really is an introductory text for persons not familiar with Asatru. This may be enough to inspire someone to seek out more, while being an easy read for the casually interested. Again, anything that makes Asatru more mainstream in a positive manner is good.

The book starts with the basic cosmology, i.e.: where the Worlds came from. Then it presents sections for Odin, Thor, and Loki. The other Gods are grouped together into a section. A section about elves, dwarves, and giants follows that. Several sagas are then presented in a shortened form. The book finishes with the Last Battle.

One of the things for which I look when evaluating books like these is how they present Vidar. Many books won't even mention Him, and I assume that little effort was made in preparing the text. This book has a small section about Vidar, grouped with the other Gods, but it hits all the high points. Since this is not a book promoting the religion, it is not bad coverage.

Since this is intended as an easy reading introduction to the material, and not actually "preaching," it isn't too bad. If you know someone who is curious but wants the short form, it would do the trick. You could probably get away with including it with the books you give to a niece or nephew when their parents still haven't converted. With the pleasant appearance, low price, and easy, non-threatening read, this is a good book to help the others learn about our faith.


Just looking for any good books that are recommended...any suggestions? I read one called "Norse Mythology" by Neil mention of Vidar - do you think this is any good?


I'm still reading Gaiman's book. It is well written, but so far does not have much depth. It looks like it will be a good, soft introduction.
A good next step would be "Myths of the Norsemen" by Helene A. Guerber (ISBN: 9780760783320) or "The Children of Odin: Nordic Gods and Heroes" by Padraic Colum (ISBN: 9780760783313).

Once you have gotten through one or both of those, you will want to find a translation of the Poetic Edda.