Date of Publication: June 25 2013
Fans of Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" and Holly Black's "The Curse Workers" will embrace this richly drawn, Norse-mythology-infused alternate world: the United States of Asgard. Seventeen-year-old Soren Bearskin is trying to escape the past. His father, a famed warrior, lost himself to the battle-frenzy and killed thirteen innocent people. Soren cannot deny that berserking is in his blood--the fevers, insomnia, and occasional feelings of uncontrollable rage haunt him. So he tries to remain calm and detached from everyone at Sanctus Sigurd's Academy. But that's hard to do when a popular, beautiful girl like Astrid Glyn tells Soren she dreams of him. That's not all Astrid dreams of--the daughter of a renowned prophetess, Astrid is coming into her own inherited abilities.
When Baldur, son of Odin and one of the most popular gods in the country, goes missing, Astrid sees where he is and convinces Soren to join her on a road trip that will take them to find not only a lost god, but also who they are beyond the legacy of their parents and everything they've been told they have to be.
For some reason, I don't know very much about Norse Gods. I've read many stories about Greek Gods but when it comes to Asgard, I'm pretty clueless. When I saw The Lost Sun, I was very excited. Not because of the cover which didn't appeal to me at all. I was drawn to this book by the author, Tessa Gratton. I read her previous book, Blood Magic, and enjoyed it so I decided to give this one a shot.
I'm happy I did. I was very impressed with the atmospheric writing. There is a certain sense of destiny that permeates the story and this mood is evident from the very first page. The Lost Sun is not a light book; the story is vaguely poetic at times, and so it took some time for me to get into it.
As someone that knows very little about Asgard I was incredibly pleased that there were many explanations and retellings of prominent myths. I couldn't remember everything, but they helped introduce me to a new mythology. I also loved the way New Asgard was set up. The Gods live along with the humans. All humans seem to choose one particular god to obey and follow. Also, the little historical and geographical aspects were incredible. As a Canadian, Canadia and the Montreal Troll Wars were of particular interest. The setting was creative with some humour too, which was very useful considering how serious other parts of the story felt.
The plot was very enchanting. All the characters had a purpose and although it took a while, I finally started to connect to them. The friendships that formed were a little heartbreaking, and they were all so meaningful. What I would have liked to see was some lighter scenes. Everyone was so angsty, and it does make sense, but some comic relief to relieve some of the tension could be beneficial.
I can pretty much name the scene where I got very into the story because Soren acted so compassionately and I realized how good of a person he was. After that scene, I warmed up to him and all the other characters. Soren's conviction is endearing and it's hard not to root for him.
The ending is magical. Everything wraps up very well and I was legitimately scared for the characters. Gratton tied everything up though, and overall I enjoyed this foray into Norse mythology. I wouldn't mind more, actually.
If you're a fan of Maggie Stiefvater, Holly Black, Melissa Marr, and/or Brenna Yovanoff, you should give The Lost Sun a try. The writing is incredibly atmospheric and the story is enchanting.