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Norse Fantasy Novels pt. 4: The Pantheon

How many Aesir does it take to build a wall? – Cast of the Pantheon
First up, what is a Pantheon I hear you cry? Well a Pantheon is; “all the gods of a people or religion collectively” or “a group of particularly respected, famous, or important people”. So basically its the who’s who, there is a Norse Pantheon and also an awesome Greek Pantheon too! So we are looking in Part 4 at which novels feature major players from the gods squad.
Now the Norse Pantheon includes a lot of big names that you will recognise; Odin, Thor, Freya, Heimdall and some maybe lesser known players such as Baldr or Tyr. If you want to beef up your Pantheon knowledge to truly impress at your next party, check this video out, its funny and most informative!

More Gods, More Problems

Looking back over the books I have read, it is a common theme to have a major Pantheon presence compared to a smaller pantheon cast. Which makes perfect sense when put in context with the Norse legends that are full of conflict between the Gods themselves as well as the Gods collectively vs an enemy. They are one big family after all and families do not always get along!
I have found the more Norse gods the narrative contains, the greater the range of conflict within the story. Novels that focus on a select few Gods or even just a individual specific mythological character are more limited in the spread of their conflict and more direct.
For a Norse Fantasy with a large pantheon, cast try: Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris.
-It tells the story of Loki’s recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself.
For a Norse Fantasy with a selective or minor pantheon cast try: The Swan Road by Angeline Hawkes.
-The challenge will take several years, voyages across the seas, friends will be made and enemies created, blood of innocents will be shed and hearts will be broken before she can finally regain her identity, freedom and peace.


Other Titles with a Major Pantheon Cast are:

Runemarks & Runelight by Joanne Harris
-Runemarks- Maddy Smith was born with a rusty-coloured runemark on her hand – a symbol of the old gods and definitely cause for suspicion. For magic is dangerous. Or so everyone thinks. But Maddy enjoys working magic.
-Runelight- Sequel to Runemarks- Six hundred miles apart, two girls each bear on their skin a runemark: a symbol of the Old Days when the known Worlds were ruled by the gods from their sky citadel, Asgard.
Ice Land by Betsy Tobin
-ICE LAND is an epic tale of forbidden love. Set in the year 1000 AD, in the shadow of a smouldering volcano, it portrays a society on the brink of change, where the old values of loyalty and kinship are threatened by a new world order.
Age of Odin by James Lovegrove
-Gideon Coxall was a good soldier but bad at everything else, until a roadside explosive device leaves him with one deaf ear and a British Army half-pension. So when he hears about the Valhalla Project, it’s like a dream come true. They’re recruiting former service personnel for excellent pay, no questions asked, to take part in unspecified combat operations.
Loki by Mike Vasich
God of Mischief. Father of Lies. Harbinger of Destruction. Exiled and tortured by the gods, Loki swears vengeance.

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The Sleeping Army by Francesca Simon
Freya is an ordinary girl living in modern Britain, but with a twist: people still worship the Viking gods. One evening, stuck with her dad on his night shift at the British Museum, she is drawn to the Lewis Chessmen and Heimdall’s Horn
Dead Radiance series by T.G. Ayer
-Bryn Halbrook had always seen the glow on the people around her. And she knows all too well what psychiatrists do to people who claim impossible powers. She’s always stayed below the radar, but when she discovers the meaning of the beautiful auras, she’s not sure why she was cursed with the ability to see the soon-to-be-dead and be unable to do anything about it.
Valda and the Valkyries by Mark Neumayer
-Valda isn’t like the other Dwarf girls. She wants to live her own life, not the one Dwarf society says she has to live. She aches to travel outside the tunnels of her mountain home and see all the wonders the Nine Worlds have to offer.
Valkyrie series by Kate O’Hearn
-Freya is dreading turning fourteen – that marks the official end of her childhood and she must now take up the full duties of a Valkyrie – a collector of souls from humanity’s battlefields.
United States of Asgard series by Tessa Gratton
-Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people.
Gospel and Testament of Loki by Joanne Harris
Gospel of Loki- It tells the story of Loki’s recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself.
Testament of Loki -Mankind dreams of the Norse Gods once again, the river Dream is but a stone’s throw from their dark prison, and Loki is the first to escape into a new reality.
Sisters of Fate series by Rinda Elliott
The Lockwood triplets have had the prophecy drummed into their heads since birth. Still, Raven, the eldest of the sisters, can’t believe it’s really happening. She’s the reincarnation of a Norse goddess?
Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series by Rick Riordan
Find out why Amir Fadlan hates clothes shopping in Midgard, see how Mallory Keen learns in icy Niflheim that insulting a dragon can be a good idea, and join Alex Fierro as they play with fire (and a disco sword) in the home of the fire giants, Muspellheim.
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
-Gaiman’s gods are thoroughly alive on the page – irascible, visceral, playful, passionate – and the tales carry us from the beginning of everything to Ragnarok and the twilight of the gods.

Image result for norse mythology neil gaiman
Monstrous Child by Francesca Simon
-But being a normal teenager wasn’t an option either. Now she’s stuck ruling the underworld. For eternity. She doesn’t want your pity. But she does demand that you listen. It’s only fair you hear her side of the story . . . It didn’t have to be like this

Fade, Fall and Flame by A.K. Morgen
-An ancient Norse prophesy of destruction has been set into motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined.


Other titles with a Selective or Minor Pantheon Cast:
The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams
No rational cause could be found for the explosion – it was simply designated an act of God. But, thinks Dirk Gently, which God? And why? What God would be hanging around Terminal Two of Heathrow Airport trying to catch the 15:37 to Oslo?
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
-After three years in prison, Shadow has served his time. But as the days and hours until his release tick away, he can feel a storm brewing.
Wolfsangel series by M. D. Lachlan
A stunning multi-volume fantasy epic that will take a werewolf from his beginnings as the heir to a brutal Viking king, down through the ages.
Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhout
-The NorseCODE genome project was designed to identify descendants of Odin. What it found was Kathy Castillo, a murdered MBA student brought back from the dead to serve as a valkyrie in the Norse god’s army.
Blood Tide and Blood Song by Melvyn Burgess
Bloodtide- two warring gangs, named the Volsons and the Connors. Each controls a large portion of London, since the city was blockaded from the outside world. Val, head of the Volsons, wishes for peace between the two and offers his daughter Signy as Conor’s wife in order to broker a treaty.
Bloodsong- Sigurd has a fabulous but frightening future predicted: even to start, he must leave everything he knows to go and fight a dragon, and from there descend into the Underworld.
West of the Moon by Katherine Langrish
-An epic and action-packed fantasy adventure that weaves together Norse legends, shadowy creatures and an unforgettable hero.
The Swan Road by Angeline Hawke
-The challenge will take several years, voyages across the seas, friends will be made and enemies created, blood of innocents will be shed and hearts will be broken before she can finally regain her identity, freedom and peace.
Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
-Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.
Broods of Fenrir by Coral Moor
Shapeshifter Brand Geirson was raised to rule the Broods of Fenrir, but he refused his birthright. Instead, he killed their brutal leader–his own father–and walked away.

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Battle against Fenrir- art by Arthur Rackham

The Fetch by Chris Humphreys
-In the attic, in an old sea chest, secreted away, are a mysterious journal and a set of runes: 24 stones that will change Sky’s life forever.
The Littlest Viking by Sandi Toksvig
When Amber, the littlest Viking, set out from Scandinavia to seek her fortune she must have got lost on her way! Now she’s in Pegwell Bay with no one but her pet squirrel for company. When Katie, Gary and Joshua find her stranded on the beach, they decide to look after her. Now there’s a Viking living in their garden!
Fate of the Gods series by Amalia Dillin
Adam is after something more than just Eve’s power—he desires her too, body and soul, even if it means the destruction of the world. Eve cannot allow it, but as one generation melds into the next, she begins to wonder if Adam might be a man she could love.
Valhalla Saga series by Snorri Kristjansson
-As punishment for disgracing his father, Ulfar Thormodsson has spent two bitterly uncomfortable years on the road, tasked with taking his highborn cousin Geiri on a tour of the kingdom. Now his journey is almost at an end – the walled town of Stenvik will be their final stop.
Runes series by the late Ednah Walters
Scared, she sets out to find out what Torin is. But the closer she gets to the truth the more she uncovers something sinister about him. What Torin is goes back to an ancient mythology and Raine is somehow part of it. Not only is she and her friends in danger, she must choose a side, but the wrong choice will cost Raine her life
Freya & Slay by Matthew Laurence
-After Freya escapes from the power-controlling Finemdi Corporation, her quest to defeat her new enemy takes her to Hollywood.

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Interested in reading more in this series? Check out part one, two and three!

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nordic rune, white writing, lets talk books, norse fantasty

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