‘The Gospel of Loki’ by Joanne M. Harris

Posted: 3 July 2014 in Book reviews
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The Gospel of Loki


This one is going to be a bit of a challenge to write a synopsis about. It is a pseudo-biography of the Trickster God. The basic gist of the book is that Loki gives the account of the destruction of the Norse Gods from his perspective. He details how he was called from Chaos by Odin, became his blood brother, and then was despised by almost all the rest of the Gods. He tries to fit in, to be liked and excepted, but they just won’t give him any slack. Even his eventual children are despised and feared/hated by the Asgardian Gods. He finally has enough and takes upon him his true chaotic essence and decides to bring down his fellow Gods. He conspires with many enemies as well as concocting his own devious plans. It takes him a long time trying to rile things up. Some of his plans go as he wants, but many aren’t as successful (especially regarding Thor). All of this takes on a bigger meaning when Loki discovers the prophecy that Odin will do everything is his power to keep from coming to pass. But fate cannot be stopped, leading up to the final, ultimate ending: Ragnarök.

My Thoughts

To be honest, this rendering of Loki is completely different from anything I have known. Don’t judge me, but I always thought that Loki was the adoptive brother of Thor like they portray him in the Marvel comic books. But alas that is not so. He is the son of Fárbauti and Laufey and he also has other siblings. He has no actual relationship with Thor other than they are both Gods of Asgard. As a side note, you can buy (or borrow from your library if they have it) and read both the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda, which contain much of the Nordic mythology.

I really enjoyed this book. It was engaging, informative, intriguing, fast-paced, and very well written. I have always liked Loki. What can I say, I have a soft spot for the bad guys. And it is refreshing reading something from the perspective of the antagonist rather than always the protagonist. Last time I read a book like that I believe was Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov in 2006 or 2007 (an interesting read I must say).

What was also great was how largely accurate the events in the book were to the actual tales from the Norse mythology. Now disclaimer here, I am stating this after researching on the internet (wikipedia so please be don’t judge me) and not after having read either the Prose Edda or Poetic Edda (which I plan to do as so as the library webpage starts working again grrrrrrrr). Despite that, I like how accurate Ms Harris was when writing this. It really gives you a sense of the Norse mentality and understanding of the world. Really cool.

If I were to pick one thing about it that bothered me, it would have to be the contemporary dialogue. Everything else about it was great. It just seemed a bit odd to me to have events and characters derived from an ancient text and have them speaking like they were from the 21st-century. Maybe it’s just me. It’s not awful enough that I couldn’t deal with it, just it didn’t seem right.

So. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. If you enjoy history, mythology, and a devious main character, then The Gospel of Loki will be right up your alley. Even if you aren’t fond of any of those three and are just interested in fantasy, you will still enjoy it. 😉

Buy it on Amazon

  1. Pearl Angeli says:

    Great review! I think this one is a good read. 🙂


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