I listened to this on audio and found that ‘The Witch’s Heart’ was the book I didn’t know I was looking for. It follows the life of banished witch Angrboda after being burned to death. (She has the power to return to life and has done so more than once.)
It’s a reimagining of Norse mythology from the perspective of the woman (other notable reimaginings of mythology – this time, Greek – include ‘The Silence of the Girls’, ‘Circe’ and ‘The Song of Achilles’. I loved all of these. Others I haven’t yet read include ‘Daughters of Sparta’, ‘Ariadne’, and ‘The Women of Troy’.)
This Norse woman – Angrboda – is a witch with spiritual and prophetic powers, with an understanding of herbs and healing, and with a wise and ancient soul that has seen all and can see all.
She meets and marries the trickster God Loki and their relationship is beautiful and complicated. They have three unusual children with powerful destinies connected to the end of the world; Ragnarok.
Angrboda lives at the edge of the world, away from Odin’s all-seeing eye. We travel with her through very distinct parts of her life from her early days of meeting and falling in love with Loki, to her time with the huntress Skadi, to Ragnarok and the destruction of the cosmos.
Angrboda’s life is consciously small and modest for much of the book and the pace of the novel matches that lifestyle. As the story progresses, the pace and the action picks up until the ending which is, not surprisingly, very dramatic. I enjoyed Angrboda’s company very much, and although I’m not big on re-reading, I will certainly be journeying back to spend time with Angrboda many times in the years to come.
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