World's Oldest Fledgling

The blog of Stephanie Wardrop, Y A Author

Endre: Everyone’s Favorite Norse God is Back. And This Time, It’s Matrimonial

on September 16, 2013

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If you read and loved ST Bende’s Elsker, you’ll know that it’s an exciting romance about a Norse god, Ull, who falls in love with a mortal named Kristia, and their love is as sweet as a Norse waffle.

And they would get the happily-ever-after that they deserve, if it weren’t for a little thing called Ragnarok, or the End of the World as We Know It.  (And Kristia does not feel fine). Image

I have sworn to give away no spoilers here about weddings, processes by which mortal women become immortal goddesses, fire giants, or evil elf men, so I will stick to the romance stuff and my three favorite things about the book:

Fave thing #1: Elsker fans know that Ull is as romantic as they come and he does not disappoint his readers (or Kristia) in this one.  And Endre moves beyond the point at which most romances stop: the promise of eternal love and marriage and the happily ever after. Aside from that whole Ragnarok thing, Bende’s second Norse god romance focuses on what happens to a loving couple after they’ve found each other. How do you deal with your partner’s job (especially if he is an assassin from Asgard)? How do you deal with his or her past (especially if it involves a hot chick with, um, physical enhancements who just won’t go away)? How do you deal with his family and friends (especially if they are capable of smiting you with a magic hammer or transporting you to ten different realms with a nod)? How do you deal with the inevitable changes in your status as you move from singleton to spouse (and mortal to goddess?) Plus, it’s hard enough entering into a partner’s history and culture, but what if that history is centuries old and the stuff of legend?  Bende deals with all of these concerns with grace, humor, and powerful imagination.

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Fave thing #2: Like any new bride, Kristia has her work cut out for her, and another aspect of this book that delights me is how much sassier Krista is in this sequel. We all knew she was strong and spunky enough to match Ull before, even if she was not “the most graceful snowflake in the blizzard.” But now she’s got some mad fighting skills and the audacity to throw some shade at Loki, which I won’t quote because you’ll want to read it yourself. Kristia has a new attitude to match her new life and skills, and she discovers a whole new way to go snorkeling, among other things. It’s good to be a god.

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Fave thing #3: Kristia is not just blessed to be loved by a Norse god – she also has a pretty wonderful set of friends (and fully fleshed characters) both mortal and immortal.  Among the immortals, Inga, Elsker, and Olaug return for the wedding and the battle and we learn about a pretty racy hobby Inga shares with Kristia. Among mortals, her bestie from home, Ardis, arrives and fits in perfectly with Kristia’s Welsh university roommates who exercise their fashion sense and penchant for products “not available in stores.” These characters provide much of the humor and the heart of the novel, making richer than a simple love story, though the love between Kristia and Ull is pretty darn epic.

Why are you still reading this? You need to get this book now. You won’t be disappointed. Buy it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It’s okay. I’ll wait right here ‘til you get back.

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