I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Legends of Asgard book The Serpent and The Dead by Anna Stephens, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.
So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.
I am going to try my best to not let that cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.
Also I won’t lie, I have looked at other reviews to see what others think, so there may be some influences from them in this book review. If I am going to quote them, I will attribute them. But if I forget to, or something is highly influenced by them, and you think I ought to attribute someone, let me know so that I can.
What is Marvel
Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!
The Legends of Asgard novels specially focus on the Norse mythology influenced Asgard with characters like Thor, Odin and Loki.
This story focuses on Lady Sif and the Valkyrie Brunnhilde as they investigate why the souls of slain warriors, including Sifs friend Gyda.
Travelling across Asgard, to try and get to the bottom of why worthy warriors are not reaching the promised afterlife and confront the dark forces behind this.
While they say its a story with a team of two, Brunnhildes girlfriend, Inge, also plays a pivotal part. And this story is a story of friendship and trust, with the relationship between the three protagonists being deep and very interesting, as the three characters all have their own distinct personality and role. Sif is the warrior, bold and brash, Brunnhilde is more thoughtful and wants a plan rather than rushing in, and then Inge is the diplomat who bridges the gulf between these two.
Of course Sif is convinced that Loki, the Trickster god, is behind the horror, and so they start a journey to find him and confront him.
This is a really good story, it is, at its heart an action book that quickly moves from battle to battle with little time in between, and the action itself is very well written.
That said the moments of the book I enjoyed the most, were the quieter more insightful moments in which we got a better idea of the motivations behind why the characters have chosen to undertake this quest.
There is a deep appreciation for Norse mythology in this book and it feels very well researched and whilst its identifiable a Marvel book, its not so deeply Marvel, that you need to be too familiar with that fandom to appreciate this book.
Its an interesting mixture of action adventure, epic quest, Norse mythology and a little bit of superhero mixed together, which means I think it will really appeal to a lot of people.
The thing I really loved about this book though is the characters, they were at once very identifiable as the characters from the comics, with a nice twist from the author to make them her own, and the comradery and relationships, both platonic and romantic, between these three strong female characters made this a real joy to read.
The only thing I would have liked different, would be more of those quiet character building moments, but I hope to see Anna write more Legends of Asgard novels.
4 out of 5 stars!
You can buy the eBook now and the paperback gets a release on the 28th October
- Mood:- Knackered
- Caffeinated Beverages Consumed:- 4
- In My Ears:- Splash Woman – Mega Ran
- Tabletop Game Last Played:- The Horus Heresy
- Video Game Last Played:- Forza Horizon 4
- Book Last Read:– Outlaw: Relentless – Tristan Palmgren
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- Current State of Projects:- Stormcast Eternals Praetors Primed