New Asgard: exploring faith, love, and family

Happy Solstice, everyone!

Last year, a dark horse of a book made it on my Best of 2018 list. Glory’s Teeth was a wonderful, odd bit of urban fantasy in the vein I like most: strange gods with feelings and existential crises of their own. I found it because a random tweet from the author floated across my timeline. As mentioned in my review, I read this book not really expecting anything. I sobbed through about 90 percent of it.

So it was with some trepidation that I approached the books that spawned this story. After all, what if these stories were less wonderful than the one I had loved so well? I needn’t have worried. The Gods of New Asgard trilogy, which begins with The Lost Sun, did not disappoint.

One of the themes of these stories that I love the most is that of faith not being easy. Each of these books deals with a different main character, and each shows a struggle that is deeply internal as that character wrestles with themselves. The books clearly show that faith is not just something directed at some distant power. It is also something that you keep for yourself. Faith requires knowing who you are, and accepting yourself.

In the world of New Asgard, faith cannot be extricated from sacrifice, or from love. Each of the main characters loses something. A lover, a friend, a family or honor – willingly or otherwise these things are laid upon the altar of their faith. And each of them gains things, too. The central unit that allows each character to move forward is not only their own strength, but the strength of their relationships to others. Often, those relationships exist in spite of loss and the way it hangs over everything, a shadow making everything else brighter. Sacrifice and love and faith are the triumverate that guides this world. Platonic relationships are just as important as romantic ones. The books weave a fine web of relationships to hold the weight of the story, and it is both deft and refreshing.

Throughout the books, each character faces struggles and dangers. They also interface often with their gods. These complex, flawed deities are the best kind, to me. They are archetypal, and I resonate with them deeply. There is action here – there is a lot of action – but it is rounded out with deeply vulnerable, personal explorations and lyrical prose.

All in all, I recommend these books. They are fabulously original, and I hope you enjoy them.

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