Formats available: ebook, paperback, mass market paperback, audiobook
Genre: Urban fantasy
Series: Midgard, #1
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Date Released: July 16, 2013
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository
Mist lives a normal life. She has a normal job, a normal boyfriend, and a normal apartment in San Francisco. She never thinks about her past if she can help it.
She survived. That’s the end of it.
But then a snowy winter descends upon San Francisco. In June. And in quick succession, Mist is attacked by a frost giant in a public park and runs into an elf disguised as a homeless person on the streets…and then the man Mist believed was her mortal boyfriend reveals himself to be the trickster god, Loki, alive and well after all these years.
Mist’s normal world is falling apart. But thankfully, Mist isn’t quite so normal herself. She’s a Valkyrie, and she’s going to need all her skill to thwart Loki’s schemes and save modern Earth from the ravages of a battle of the gods.
At the publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
Mist is the kind of urban fantasy where magical beings cross over from a world or dimension where magic works into our much more mundane world where magic either doesn’t work or people don’t believe in it anymore.
The fascinating thing about this particular tale is that the story it’s part of is both very old and very new, because Krinard has chosen to work her story into the Norse sagas and bring the Norse pantheon back to play in the 21st century world.
We may not believe in them, but they believe in us. They might be back because it’s finally time for Ragnarök, the Last Battle. Or it might just be another round in a neverending game of “can you top this” between Loki and Freya, with Earth as the prize. We don’t actually know.
What we do know is that centuries ago, Odin sent chosen Valkyries to Earth with his Treasures, great weapons and defenses. Mist Bjorgsen was one of those Valkyries. She believed it was the Last Battle. All the signs pointed to it. But paradise did not follow.
And now, winter has come to San Francisco. In June. (San Francisco summers are infamously cold, but not THAT cold). Mist discovers that the man she thought was her human lover has been deceiving her for months. Oh, it’s not that he’s cheating on her. It’s that he’s actually Loki, and he’s just stolen Odin’s spear, the treasure she’s protected for centuries.
Right after his frost-giant allies pulverized the elf who came to tell her to get ready for the invasion.
It looks like the gods are back are back in town.
Escape Rating B: Mist is the first book in Krinard’s Midgard series, and there’s no question there’s a ton of setup necessary to get this show on the road.
But if you like mythology-based fantasy, or crossover fantasy (sometimes called portal fantasy) this is a very interesting setup. We’re much more used to seeing the Greco-Roman pantheon than the Norse, so the author is able to change up some of the backstory. The names are familiar without being weighted by a ton of expectation. Especially since, based on Wikipedia, the extant Norse sagas disagree more than a bit on who did what to whom.
Mist the person (and I wish her name was more of a name than just Mist) is the center of the story. It’s her journey. She starts as being just one of the girls, just one of the Valkyrie, and discovers that she bears the weight of expectations. She the daughter of a goddess. She’s supposed to lead the fight against Loki. She has the power to literally draw followers to her like a beacon.
She’d rather be just one of the soldiers, and she knows she can’t be. Of course, she does not know what her fate is supposed to be.
Because Mist is urban fantasy, although it contains the potential for a romance in the future, but there is not one in the here and now. We have a tortured man (actually elf) who must work through his own demons (some of which literally are demons) and the times he has betrayed people who trust him (and will continue to betray people who trust him) before he might think himself worthy of being loved.
And then there’s Mist’s power, which may make it impossible for her to believe that anyone loves her for herself. We’ll get there in a later book.
About the war between the gods: Loki and Freya seem to be using Earth, the same way the Great Powers used Central Asia before World War I, as a way to test their powers and pit their followers against each other in preliminary skirmishes prior to all-out warfare.
Also, although Loki seems to be evil, Freya doesn’t exactly seem to be good. It reminds me much more of the situation in Babylon 5, where the true fight turned out to be between Order and Chaos, but both sides had their own agenda. Chaos may have meant unbridled chaos, a situation that evildoers often took full advantage of, but Order meant rigid and unyielding order, with no growth, development or experimentation permitted.
I hope that by the time this series has ended, we’ll find out what Loki’s and Freya’s true agendas really are. In this book, we see them jockeying for power, and the gathering of allies.
The story that has begun is worth following.
Susan is giving away one print copy of Mist to one lucky winner (US only)! To enter, use the Rafflecopter below: