February 25, 2021

Review: The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec

Where to begin? I went into The Witch's Heart knowing the bare minimum details because as soon as I saw the tagline, "a banished witch falls in love with the legendary trickster Loki," I knew I wanted to read it. But what I got by the end of it was so much more. I came away with a whole lot of interest in Norse mythology (as evidenced by the Norse Mythology book I bought two weeks ago) and just a deep appreciation for how Genevieve Gornichec took a character who was a footnote basically and brought her completely to life. 


The character I'm talking about is our heroine and witch Angrboda. When she refuses to reveal the future to Odin, his punishment is burning her at the stake but she lives on--although injured and powerless. She flees to a remote forest where no one can find her, except for Loki who seeks her out and with whom she eventually falls in love. Together, they have three unusual children but Angrboda chooses to raise them with love, acceptance, and away from the prying eyes of the gods who would only judge them. But destiny and the gods can only be kept at bay for so long and soon she has impossible choices to make that would not only affect her family but the world as they know it. 


No pun intended but the heart of the book was truly Angrboda. I was engrossed in every part of her journey from creating a life for herself in the forest, the tumultuous relationship with Loki, and the many ways in which she fought back against those who would belittle or suppress her. That said, all the other  characters only further enriched the story through the different relationships they had with her. Loki was obviously one of the most important and it was really cool to get this more traditional view of him, especially when all I pictured before was the Marvel/Tom Hiddleston version which is so completely different! Other familiar names such as Skadi, Thor, Odin, Freya, all come into play and again, it wasn't the same images I had which were based on popular culture. This book draws inspiration from the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda, which are two original sources of Norse lore and I know this because reading this book led me down a rabbit hole of googling these characters and their origin stories. I consider the latter to be more proof of how great the book and the author's storytelling was. 


Do I recommend?
 I do! Mythology aside (which clearly interested me!), I was just very moved by the story and Angrboda's unconventional life. 

***

pub 2/9/21 by Ace Books
Adult - Fantasy/Mythology
Received e-ARC from pub for review
Goodreads | Author

1 comment

  1. Okay, but you've truly convinced me that I need to pick up a copy of The Witch's Heart to read at some point! I was initially drawn by the cover, but the premise sounds fantastic.

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