Exile of Fenrir
I was unsure if I was going to enjoy this book or not. Although I love fantasy of all kinds, this looked to be quite intense Norse mythology, and I worried how heavy it was going to be. My fears were groundless, the book was instantly interesting and accessible. Telling the story of Loki's son Fenrir, and how he manages to displease the god Odin and his son Thor. Spared execution, Fenrir instead is confined to live forever in their city, under their watchful, judgmental gaze. This is particularly hard on Fenrir, as he is a shapeshifter, able to become a mighty wolf at will, so trapping him within the city walls is a dreadful punishment.
Gradually, Fenrir comes to terms with his confinement, even makes friends and tries to make the best of his situation, then, an act of betrayal hurtles him headlong onto a quest and adventures beyond his wildest imagination.
Well written, and couched almost entirely in a slightly formal, stilted, style that was reminiscent of the Beowulf saga, the writer transports the reader to the world of Norse mythology. Creating three dimensional and believable characters out of old legends and myths, the writer has plainly extensively researched his subject, and this shone through every line, giving a layer of authenticity to the plot.
That was what I liked about this book, now to what I didn't. It is such a small criticism, I feel mean making it, yet, if it bothered me, then it will probably bother other readers. The author spins his tale and draws the reader back to pre-history, to a time of myth and legend, and holds them there, spellbound, until, he uses two modern slang words, which instantly jolt the reader violently back to the here and now. On several occasions, he uses the word okay. This is a twentieth century colloquialism entirely inappropriate in the ancient Nordic world, and was, I felt, unnecessary. The word alright, or something similar, would have conveyed his meaning in a manner more in keeping with the landscape he'd created. The second instance that jarred me away from the story, was his persistent use of the word ass. This is so specifically a modern American slang word for backside, that it bothered me enormously, as it moved the story from ancient Scandinavia to the modern day North American continent. Again, I felt it was unnecessary, where he was using the word to refer to a person, then fool, or something similar, would have served better, and, where he was using it to refer to his wolf anatomy, then haunch or hindquarters would not only have been more in keeping, but would have had a more dramatic impact. But, this is a very small critique and is entirely personal. Another reader may have not noticed the words, or, if noticed them, not cared. It is one of my quirks that when I'm reading an historical novel, I like to be totally immersed in that period, not abruptly catapulted back to the here and now by modern slang that is simply not in keeping.
Overall, this is a well written and gripping read, an interesting re-telling of an ancient Nordic myth, which I enjoyed very much. I hope the author will release further works, maybe even consider writing some original fantasy, as I feel he has a strong voice and deserves to be heard.
Exile of Fenrir
Norse Mythology lovers, rejoice! “Exile of Fenrir” is just the thing to scratch that mythology retelling itch you probably didn’t even know you had—until now. This is the story of one of Norse Mythologies shapeshifting giants, Fenrir, and his siblings as they run afoul of the gods in Asgard, and the punishment/judgement they face thereafter. The names you recognize thanks to the Marvel movies, such as Thor, Loki, and Odin, all make an appearance, but stay in the role the mythology originally intended. So, if you are looking for a heroic tale of Thor battling creatures of legend, this isn’t the story for you, though if you are a fan of Thor and his friends, I’d still recommend giving this a read anyway as it presents a different perspective. Ultimately, if you love mythology retellings that stick a bit closer to their source material, then I urge you to give this book a read!
If you are familiar with some of the more popular Norse tales, you’ll be familiar with all the characters in Curson’s book as well as their origin stories, and their main “quests”. I am vaguely familiar with the stories myself, and still enjoyed Curson’s interpretation, and the way he presents the gods of Asgard, and their giant adversaries. If you are unfamiliar with those stories, I found the “Exile of Fenrir” to be a fun introduction to those mythologies, and it left me with a desire to go and read more about the characters that make appearances throughout Fenrir’s time in Asgard.
I really enjoyed this book, and while it’s not a high intensity page turner like you may expect given the pace of the Marvel films, the pacing is good, and I found myself enjoying the steadiness of the story telling. The book is written in a style that felt a bit like an old translation, if you had to read anything by Homer regarding the Trojan War or the Odyssey, you’ll know what I mean. I thought the novelty of writing the story in this way would eventually wear off, but it didn’t and I was impressed Curson was able to keep it up as well as he did, with only a few instances where I felt like “modern” slang was being used. I also felt this book was a great start, but would like it if it were part of a series! Not that anything is left unanswered, you know where Fenrir’s siblings end up and what the shapeshifter ultimately means to do, but the setup up was so good for all these different godly characters, that I yearned to read what happens next.
I want there to be more tales from Curson about what happens with Hel in the underworld, and Jor’s time spent with humans, and what happens to Fenrir after his last successful battle. Fenrir is such a deep character with very relatable emotions and interpersonal conflict that I want to read more about his adventures. Too often in these mythology retellings so many liberties are taken that they don’t maintain that familiar feel of a story you recognize, but in this book it feels like you are getting the behind the scenes story, and I loved that. Well written historical fictions pull that off splendidly, and I think Curson does as well in his take on Norse Mythology, and for that I give this book the full 5 stars!
Daccari Buchelli (https://fantasybooks411.com)
Exile of Fenrir
I received a charming paperback copy of Exile of Fenrir recently from Author Peter Curson. This tale follows the legendary Norse gods, chronicling the life journey of Loki's son, Fenrir.
I've always loved mythology and with Norse mythology being a particular favourite of mine, I was eager to dive into this read. I was not disappointed.
When Fenrir is brought to Asgard, home of the Gods, he is forced to submit to their ways or face grave punishment. We witness great injustices dealt to him by his supposed betters owing to the nature of his birth race. Fenrir presents as a strong minded individual that struggles to find the balance between logic and instinct. His story flows beautifully with a reliable second person narration. I got a real sense of the urgency that he was feeling and was rooting for him from beginning to end.
This was a remarkably crafted tale of love, loss and ancestry that touched my heart.
I would rate this book 5 stars.
Recommended for lovers of fantasy and mythology.
The Reign of Evil
I bought this along with the author's other book Exile of Fenrir, which I will review whenever I read it.
I found this book to by heavily influenced by the works of Tolkien, as stated in author bio on here. This influence I liked more than I disliked. I would suggest giving this book a shot if you're fans of Tolkien. I'm about to head to the post office and send this to a friend in Minnesota.