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Thor: Viking God of Thunder by Graeme Davis

Thor: Viking God of Thunder

by Graeme Davis

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Pros: thorough, entertaining, educational, lots of illustrations

Cons: mentions religious reconstruction using archaeology but doesn’t give much information about what’s been discovered, drawings of some Viking artefacts rather than photographs

This is a great introduction to Norse mythology on the whole and an excellent one if you’re interested in Thor in particular. There’s a one page rundown of important characters and another with places. The source materials of the myths are briefly discussed, specifically the Poetic and Prose Edda, and during the retellings the author often pauses to explain cultural and situational material necessary for understanding what’s going on.

The stories themselves are quite entertaining, though while Thor’s exploits against the giants are referred to, there’s little description of those battles.

There are a good number of newly commissioned and older artworks illustrating the stories. I would have liked to see some photographs of archaeological finds rather than drawings though.

The author mentions that the sources are light when it comes to how the Norse gods were worshiped but that archaeology has started shedding light on this issue, but doesn’t mention any of the finds or what we’ve learned about their religious practices from them. The author does, however, mention information about religious practices that have survived in written form (eg. Tacitus).

The final chapter deals with how myths of Thor have been used in modern times, like how they were co-opted by the Nazi party when trying to create a sense of nationalism for Germany after World War I. It also goes into Thor’s portrayal in comics and movies.

If you don’t know much about Norse mythology or Thor, this is an excellent book to get you up to speed. ( )
  Strider66 | Dec 2, 2014 |
Thor: The Viking God of Thunder by Graeme Davis

Thor: The Viking God of Thunder is an excellent read for all mythology lovers. It is also an easy to understand resource for Norse Mythology.

Whether you are a lover of mythology or in need of a reference book, Thor: The Viking God of Thunder, is a great book. Not only does it cover all things Thor, but it gives an overview of Norse mythology and history that are easy to comprehend.

ARC provided publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  dlynch | Feb 11, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this! I'm somewhat familiar with Norse Legends having read several collections over the years but knew nothing of the history of the worship and religion attached to the Vikings themselves. I found this very entertaining. The book is informational in content and starts out with historical information on Thor as a god of Viking religion and where the myths and legends we know today came from. Then the main part of the book is a retelling of those myths which concern Thor. They are not told in a storyteller's voice but keep to the main points while still managing to be entertaining. Throughout this section, blocks of text are highlighted to bring historical context, definitions of customs and words, etc. Finally the book ends with a look at Thor after the Vikings to modern day; his use as a legendary hero figure, his symbolisms confiscated by the Nazis and of course, the Marvel Superhero. Very informational and entertaining! I did however think that the illustrations by Coimbra, which are lovely, were superfluous, as there are plenty of images of artwork and relics from the ages; pictures of actual Viking stonework, children's book illustrations, etc. The book is unassuming in appearance, and brief but the text is somewhat academic and I'd say the intended audience is senior highschool if not even adult. ( )
  ElizaJane | Dec 7, 2013 |
A great introduction to all things Thor. The book includes history, myths, pop culture, and a bit of religious history. Wonderful illustrations and a helpful glossary at the end. Recommended for any Thor enthusiast.

Net Galley Feedback ( )
  LibStaff2 | Jul 22, 2013 |
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