cover image Twilight of the Gods

Twilight of the Gods

Scott Oden. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-312-37295-8

Robust action sequences and detailed descriptions mark Oden’s ambitious second Grimnir Viking adventure. In 1218 Sweden, 200 years after the events of A Gathering of Ravens, 16-year-old Dísa Dagrúnsdottir becomes the priestess of the Hooded One, Grimnir, a monstrous, ancient deity who promises to train her as a shield maiden. When Grimnir’s servant, the troll woman Halla, prophesies that the dominance of the Nailed God of Christianity will end the Norse traditions, Grimnir and Dísa work to preserve the old ways, aided by the immortal warrior Úlfrún of the Iron Hand. Úlfrún seeks the magical sword Sárklungr, which is rumored to have the power to destroy the Christians. Opposing them is the Nailed God’s champion, Lord Konraðr, who hopes to wipe out all pagans. Oden’s impressive writing successfully evokes a grand but grim atmosphere as the well-developed heroes undertake a dangerous quest to find Sárklungr. Fans of fast-paced battles and indomitable warriors will relish the sweeping fight scenes, complete with berserkers, siege engines, and the growing threat of Ragnarok, the Norse apocalypse. Series readers will not be disappointed. Agent: Bob Mecoy, Creative Book Services. (Feb.)