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    Creative, unique retellings of Norse myths.

    'Children (The Ten Worlds Book 1)' by Bjørn Larssen is a retelling of the Norse myths, centered around Magni and Maya. Magni is the son of the God of Thunder himself.. Thor.. but it's his mother he grew up close to. Thor represents everything the young god despises.. murderous and alcoholic. A being who was never really part of his life.. and whose name only brings up feelings of resentment and memories of a cold, distant man. When Thor destroys everything Magni holds dear, he becomes determined to put a stop to his distant father's violence. His dream is peace and prosperity for the Nine Worlds and a quiet life with the man he loves, but escaping the shadow of his father is difficult because they look so similar that he's frequently mistaken for Thor. Maya is a sorceress who was spirited away from her human family by Freya and Freyr.. the God of Sex and Goddess of Love.. but she has no interest in the greatest of pleasures. Having been sent back amongst humans to serve a thick-skulled brute of a King with no promise of when or if she'll ever return home, Maya's yearning for freedom has only grown. A skilled magic wielder, her rage at the games they've played is more powerful than even she realizes, but escape seems to elude her as well. Though this book wasn't what I was expecting.. which is to say something bold and a bit lyrical.. it was well written. It's far more than bold.. and too raw to be lyrical.. but that isn't a bd thing. The prose actually takes on more of the brutish traits of the world the reader is thrust into.. the language often simplistic. I found the dialogue to be on the weak side, but in truth.. that's the most difficult thing for most writers to get right, in my opinion. While the journey is certainly a struggle and natural story investment builds within the telling, I wasn't particularly attached to any of the characters.. which surprised me. I just didn't find them all that likeable.. but that's a very personal thing and has no reflection on the author. What's really cool about the story, is the unorthodox approach Larssen took to the retellings. His perspectives feel unique while still containing enough core mythos to keep the reader's path forward clear. Told through a shifting narrative between Magni and Maya, each voice is distinctive.. which is really important to me with multiple-pov perspectives. I like that I know who I'm reading by their tone and even their language.. that I don't have to check and see whose name is present in the chapter. As for trigger warnings.. if you're uncomfortable with depictions of sexual, physical, and emotional violence.. you may want to skip this one. However, if those don't bother you and you're looking for a story told in interesting and unfamiliar ways.. this might be it. (More reviews like this at Betwixt The Sheets.) (I received this title as an ARC. All opinions are mine and freely given.)
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