Odin’s Child by Siri Pettersen is an epic fantasy with Norwegian mythology. In Odin’s Child, we follow Hirka as she escapes from a society that thinks she will end them all.
15-year-old Hirka has always been an outsider in the world of Ym: she’s the only person without a tail, and the only one unable to access the Might, a current of power that runs through the earth.
Her differences become more and more of a concern as the date approaches for the Rite—the ceremony where everyone is to be blessed by the all-knowing Seer and the Council of powerful families who rule in His name. With only a few weeks until the Rite, Hirka discovers the shocking secret behind why she is tailless and Mightless: she is not from this world. As an infant, she was brought through an ancient stone circle known as a Raven Ring, and as long as she’s in Ym, the passageway between worlds remains open inviting terrifying creatures called the blind to follow.
No one can know the truth of Hirka’s identity, especially
not Rime, her childhood friend who just might become something more. But is Rime is hiding secrets of his own?
“Normal people had to behave, but she wasn’t normal people anymore. She was the rot. Hirka bared her teeth in an involuntary grin.”
I was very excited to get my hands on this once I saw the reviews for it in its original language. Let me tell you, this book does not disappoint. Hirka is a feral, angry 15-year-old who is being put in a situation no girl of that age should be placed in. Hirka is likeable, from the way she hates the system was a raised in, to her emotional turmoil of finding out that everything you knew about yourself is a lie. I found the romance between Hirka and Rime interesting, and realistic. They grow up as childhood friends, and both have individual self-discovery journeys that bring them together. They’re strong characters on their own, which really builds for a fantastic relationship.
“Already dead. Nothing could hurt someone who knew nothing would last. There was nothing left to fear.”
There were moments that this book felt confusing, or slow and that took away some of my love for it. In the translation, there are still some terms that I wasn’t sure if they were apart of this new world, or apart of the Norwegian language. I’d usually have to google these things to confirm, but without any kind of glossary in the back, it was an extra step. Additionally, I feel as though Urd’s part of the story was somewhat confusing. I don’t know exactly what he did, just the results of it. I’m not fully sure what his goals were for this action either, and I’d like a little more information. However, knowing this is a trilogy means that I may get those answers when the next books are translated.
“That’s when Rime knew he was in danger. Because suddenly the rot seemed a small price to pay to be close to her.”
I found the plot of this and the world-building fascinating. It felt entirely new, despite it not being too new of a concept to the fantasy world. The way things were written and woven into one another was great, and Pettersen has really done an amazing thing introducing this into the world of epic fantasies. I am incredibly excited for the next two books to be translated into English and get my hands on them.
“A wise woman I know once said that collecting other people’s mistakes is dangerous. You soon end up with too many. And it’s even worse if you take them as your own.”
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.