In this inventive, short, yet perfectly formed novel inspired by traditional Norse mythology, Neil Gaiman takes readers on a wild and magical trip to the land of giants and gods and back. In a village in ancient Norway lives a boy named Odd, and he's had some very bad luck: His father... read more
Odd is an unlucky, crippled, 12 years old who lives in a Viking village. His father was killed in a fishing accident and two years later his mother remarried. In a particularily long winter, in the middle of the night Odd decides to leave his village heading for his father's old woodcutting... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
Odd is an unlucky, crippled, 12 years old who lives in a Viking village. His father was killed in a fishing accident and two years later his mother remarried. In a particularily long winter, in the middle of the night Odd decides to leave his village heading for his father's old woodcutting hut.
Odd is woken by something scratching against the hut, he finds a fox and follows it to a huge brown bear with his front paw trapped in a tree. Odd frees him and, instead of eating him the bear carries Odd back to his hut accompanied by the fox and a huge one-eyed eagle. Odd invites them in, feeds them and goes to sleep only to be awaken by their conversation. They explain that they are not really animals but Gods - the bear = Thor, the eagle = Odin and the fox = Loki and tell him the story of how this happened: Loki looked over the wall of Asgard and saw a beautiful woman. He offered to take her into his house and care for her but he refused - she promissed her father not to give her heart to anyone who does not posses Mjollnir, The Hammer of Thor. Loki promptly steals the hammer and offers it to the maiden but in the maiden's place there's a laughing Frost Giant who transforms Loki in a fox and the rest of Gods in animals. Also Frost Giants like/are winter so winter will continue while they reign.
On Odd's suggestion they start towards Asgard. But in order to enter the gods realm they need to cross the Rainbow Bridge, so Odd cuts a pyramid of ice and reflects light as a rainbow on the snow and they enter Asgard. Bear and eagle go hunting while Odd and the fox build a fire, they eat and then the bear carries Odd to a strange pool to drink. Waking up in the night Odd realizes the pool is magic - he watches scenes of their parents past. He suddenly knows what the unfinished piece of wood he found in his father's hut is supposed to be and spends the rest of the night carving it. In the morning he asks them to take him to the edge of the forest and wait - he'll walk alone to the gates of Asgard.
Next to the wall there's a Frost Giant. Odd explains he's here to drive the Frost Giants from Asgard and smiles a big, happy iritating smile that probably saves his life. When Odd asks why the Frost Giant conquered Asgard he answers that his brother was hired to build the wall but instead of being paid the Sun, the Moon and Freya as promissed he was killed by Thor. Odd asks why the giant's brother wanted those things the answer is "Beauty" (to improve Jotunheim - the giant's realm). Asgard was conquered by this Frost Giant alone - and he is unhappily waiting for the improbable arrival of his brothers. He can't take back Thor's hammer or Freya because that would cause trigger the God's revenge. Odd recounts the story of his father falling in love with his mother and gives the giant the wood carving that represents his mother - the way she looked before Odd was born. The giant makes it snow and leaves.
The eagle finds Odd on the wall where the giant put him and brings him Loki's shoes. The Goddess Freya (who has a carriage pulled by cats) transforms Odin, Thor and Loki back and repairs - although not completely - Odd's crippled right leg. After the feast Odin gives Odd his carved staff ("carved with faces—dogs and horses and men and birds, skulls and reindeer and mice and women") and sends him home using a ball of water.
Back in the village - his mother and Fat Elfred had a fight because of him and she moved in his dead father's house. Odd had grown a lot (as the Gods did) - he offers her mother to go back to Scotland for a while. She aggrees.
“No. He doesn’t learn. None of them do. And they don’t change, either. They can’t. It’s all part of being a God.”Goddess Freya
“Talk is free,” said Odd, “but the wise man chooses when to spend his words.”Highlighted by 13 Kindle customers
If magic means letting things do what they wanted to do, or be what they wanted to be…Highlighted by 13 Kindle customers
“The wise man knows when to keep silent. Only the fool tells all he knows.”Highlighted by 9 Kindle customers
“My father used to say that the carving was in the wood already. You just had to find out what the wood wanted to be, and then take your knife and remove everything that wasn’t that.”Highlighted by 6 Kindle customers
Aesir.” “How far is it to your place?”Highlighted by 4 Kindle customers
the miracle of putting one foot in front of the other and pushing the world towards you.Highlighted by 3 Kindle customers
We’re hiding the errata, movie connections, books that influenced this book, books influenced by this book, books that cite this book and books cited by this book sections. If you would like to add content to them, you must first make them visible.