“The Book of Viking Myths: From the Voyages of Leif Erikson to the Deeds of Odin, the Storied History and Folklore of the Vikings” by Peter Archer is the perfect collection of myths and legends from the eponymous “Vikings”. Anyone who has ever had an interest in Norse mythology, but isn’t yet ready to read “The Prose Edda” in the original in Old Norse, this is the book for you!
Archer opens by providing the reader with a brief background of the history of the Vikings. He provides a thumbnail sketch, but like the rest of the book, his conclusions are based on years of research, a deep understanding of the “Viking world” and supported by other experts in the field. Each section is well-organized and accessible. Archer not only provides information on some of the more famous Viking myths, but touches on some of the more influential figures that have been passed over for the showier characters. “The Book of Viking Myths” delves into origins and influences, reflecting that this mythology didn’t appear or exist in a bubble, but was touched by the various cultures the Vikings visited, and in turned, left an indelible mark on the world.
Peter Archer’s excellent “The Book of Viking Myths” offers readers a unique understanding of Norse mythology, allowing the reader to jump in with both feet, and whet their appetite for more. While certainly academic, Archer brings the myths to life in such a way that even a causal reader will be better for having picked this book up!