The Bottom Line
"Myths of the World: Norse Gods and Heroes," by Morgan J. Roberts is a quick, amply illustrated look at the major gods and adventures of Norse mythology from the creation to the end at Ragnarok. Interesting explanation of the effects of the bleak Icelandic climate on the values of the Norse gods and heroes.
- Suitable for adults or older children
- Complementary illustrations
- Briefly covers all the major gods and major stories
- Limited discussion of variations
- Roberts describes the Norse myths as fatalistic because of the bleak Icelandic climate.
- The noblest way to die was in battle so that a warrior could go to Valhalla.
- Odin stopped eating and lived on an alcoholic diet after he learned the future.
- Unlike those of other pantheons, the Norse gods are not immortal.
- Roberts names the attributes and pieces of equipment associated with each god.
Guide Review - Review of Morgan J. Roberts' Myths of the World: Norse Gods and Heroes
Morgan J. Roberts "Myths of the World: Norse Gods and Heroes" begins at the beginning, with Iceland, the earliest writers about Norse theological beliefs, and the creation of the world -- according to Norse mythology. It ends with the post-Ragnarok (end-of-world) period. Odin is the main character of Roberts' version of the Norse myths, which is more story than strict notation of fact, and less embellished than one might find in, say, a children's version, From the beginning Odin was involved in everything. He sacrificed himself so that he might have the wisdom to guide the gods, He encouraged bravery and valor in men because everything, including the gods, would one day die, whether hanging on the Yggdrasil world tre, as Odin did for nine days before returning to life, or at Ragnarak, where Odin knows he will permanently die one day. Roberts paints Loki, the mischievour trickster god, as both good and bad. In addition to these topics, the fourteen short chapters cover Frigga, Thor, Tyr, Frey, Freya, Bragi, Idun, Heimdall, Balder, and the remaining gods. Illustrations from many sources, including woodcuts, archaeological finds, coins, and tapestry give added dimension to the topics. With bibliography and index, "Myths of the World: Norse Gods and Heroes" is only 112 pages long -- an entertaining quick read.