Do I even need to reiterate how much I love of mythology retelling? I tend to lean more towards Greek mythology just because I'm a lot more familiar with those stories, but I'm so happy I stepped out of my comfort zone with The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec.
|Pub Date: 2-9-21|
Adult - Fantasy
Angrboda was once a powerful witch, but after defying Odin, was burnt at the stake and her heart ripped out. After surviving the burning, Angrboda flees to a remote forest, injured and powerless. All she wants to do is live her life in peace, alone and unbothered, but those plans as dashed when she meets Loki. Angrboda is immediately wary of the trickster god, but when he gives her back the heart she was missing, they form a tentative friendship which soon turns into deep love.
Their marriage produces three offspring just as unusual as their parents, who will each play a pivotal role in a future event. Afraid of what Odin might do if he discovers the children, Angrboda keeps them secluded in her little patch of woods at the end of the world. But with her powers of prophecy increasing, Angrboda knows there is no way to stop the fates, only delay them a little while longer. When she is betrayed by those closest to her, Angrboda must decide whether to accept the path destiny has laid out for her family, or awaken the power within her to help remake a better world.
I've heard so much hype surrounding this book, and it more than lives up to it. I was a little hesitant going in because I don't know much about Norse mythology, but I realized quickly there was nothing to worry about because the writing was so accessible. It made the story feel almost modern in a way. I absolutely loved the characters and how they interacted with one another. Angrboda and Loki had such a dynamic relationship and I enjoyed the way Angrboda saw past all the mischief and understood Loki in a way no one ever had before. I also loved the relationship between her and Skadi, it just felt very raw and honest. Aside from the characters, the plot itself was fascinating and I loved how Gornichec tied everything together. There was never a moment where I was bored. Gornichec did what Madeline Miller did for Greek mythology, she took a character that many would've disregarded and given them a voice and a story that is all at once heartbreaking and powerful. It was beautiful, dark, compelling, sad, and hopeful and I just couldn't get enough.