Elsker by S.T. Bende

Title: Elsker

Author: S.T. Bende

Rating: 4/5

Synopsis:

Kristia Tostenson prefers Earl Grey to Grey Goose and book clubs to nightclubs. But when she transfers from her one-stoplight Oregon town to Cardiff University in Wales, she falls in love with Ull Myhr. Her new boyfriend isn’t exactly what she was expecting. Ull is an honest-to-goodness Norse god — an immortal assassin fated to die at Ragnarok, the battle destined to destroy Asgard and Earth. On top of being marked for death, Asgardian law prohibits Ull from tying his fate to a mortal. No matter what she feels for Ull, Kristia knows she’s the one thing he can never have.

With Ragnarok on the horizon and a lunatic haunting her dreams, Kristia has to find a way to convince Ull that breaking the rules is the only way to survive; that defying the order he’s sworn to uphold is their only chance to be together. And when someone starts asking the wrong questions, Kristia realizes the crazy visions she’s had all her life might be the key to saving their realms… even if they end up costing her her life. (Elsker: The Elsker Saga, Book One)

Review:

Norse Mythology is a section of literature that is most often neglected, or only present in historical fiction.  But S.T. Bende took Norse Mythology to the next level and introduced it to the younger generations by incorporating the legends into an older young adult novel that connects the mythologies to today’s world.  As someone who is very passionate about Norse Mythology, I was very impressed with S.T. Bende’s novel, and how she was able to take the myths of Norse Mythology and translate them to reality.

Elsker is written from the perspective of our heroine, Kristia, a girl from a small town who has decided to attend Cardiff University in Wales.  Kristia is catapulted from a simple small town life into the world of the Norse gods and quickly becomes involved in an ancient battle that has come back to the surface.  This novel is not just a novel about a young girl finding herself and expanding her horizons, but about the power that mythology has on our contemporary lives and how those we meet may not be exactly who we think they are.

S.T. Bende’s novel is not just a novel for older young adults, but for people of all ages to learn about Norse Mythology and the origins of its age old concepts.  I have not found an older young adult novel as original as Elsker in quite some time, and I now know why this indie novel is an international bestseller.

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