The characters are key in these books and are so well written by Rector they feel like old friends. The side characters are equally as detailed and nuanced as the main characters, who are put through all manner of devastating torture both emotional and physical and we feel for them every step of the way. The trauma they suffer is palpable and Sigyn’s vision of a happy inclusive future where everyone can love and live however they choose is a wonderful goal made attainable by her sheer determination:
“Váli, Hreidulfr, Loki, myself, and so many of you, lived through a time where being different was unthinkable. Where loving someone could leave you misunderstood at best, and dueling to the death at worst. I watched people that I loved dearly hide in the shadows because they knew that living authentically would destroy their lives in every capacity. All because of who we loved or the people that we were.”
A large part of this book involves Loki trying to make his way with Narvi and Angrboda through Helheim to the three Norns in order to ask for a new Fate which, if granted, would allow him to atone for his part in Ragnarok. This was an exciting and intriguing journey and the challenges and monsters from Norse mythology they meet along the way were my favourite part of the story - I do love a quest!! I also really enjoyed Angrboda’s fierce character, her hard exterior acting as her armour, even though deep down she clearly still loves Loki and idolizes their children. She even appears to be fond of Loki’s other children and is kind to Narvi.
Helheim and the Norns’ cave/beach were richly depicted and easy to visualize, bringing the mythology to life and adding extra layers of depth to the story.
Loki has changed somewhat due to the terrible things he has suffered - but there are still moments when his sardonic wit shines through and these lighter moments are some of my favourites. Sigyn has to fight against her natural fidelity in order to be at peace with her unusual choices involving those she loves.
I will miss these characters who I have come to love and will undoubtedly reread these two books again and again!