Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Odd is a boy who lives in an old Viking village quite contentedly until his father passes away and his mother remarries. After times passes with his mother’s new husband and all of his awful children, Odd decides to leave his village for a hut in the wilderness that used to belong to his father.
While out for a stroll one morning, he first meets a fox outside the door who appears to want to tag along with him. He next encounters across a bear with its paw stuck in a tree; he helps the bear, and the bear returns the favor by letting Odd ride on his back on the return trip to the hut. On the way back, Odd sees an eagle following them. When they all arrive at the hut, Odd invites them in for something to eat, then lets them stay for a rest. Hours later, Odd wakes to hear the three animals talking to one another. After much probing, he learns that they aren’t really animals; they are in fact the gods Loki, Thor, and Odin—they were tricked by a Frost Giant and then changed into animals. Odd is determined to help these strange creatures return to their true forms and to put a stop to the endless winter the world has been suffering at the hands of these Frost Giants.
This is an interesting story full of magic. Odd is a likable character—he is kind, gentle, and not at all how one would picture a Viking, but these traits are what help him face the evil Frost Giants. Recommend this to fans of mythology and fantasy.
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