As usual I am writing this right after finishing the book. It's the 25th of March....
In my pre-release post, a couple of months back I explained my history with The Lost Sun. So, I'll launch right into it. My thoughts are based on the ARC.
I love the premise of this book. I love the idea of the old Norse gods and customs being alive. Tessa Gratton did such an awesome job of using these old terms and ideas and applying them to modern ideas. I wish we lived like this. I love the allegiances to the gods and what they say about the person.
The way the two societies, the modern and the old Norse, is worth reading this book for, alone.
As for the characters, admittedly it was the secondary characters that I liked the best. I already miss the old Baldur. There was something innocent about him without being totally child-like. I think that can be a tough balance to achieve but Gratton does such a wonderful job on it. I think the really cool thing was that, while he is described, I never really saw him in my head that well, but I loved his personality and the little traits she gave him.
I found Vidar's strength admirable and amazing. She steps into the unknown and embraces it. She does such risky things and, while yes, there is the boon to think about, it's definitely not all about her. There's a depth of caring there that I wish had been explored better. I would really love to hear more about Vidar and Loki. Loki's dismay at her shift in allegiance hurt.
Glory/Fenris is just amazing, though. I loved the twist on the story that Gratton gave her. Her love for Tyr and the ropes that bind her into the human shape. She's sarcastic and snarky and knows exactly what to do and how to do it. Oddly I didn't realize who she was until Soren said it. She's pretty much my favorite.
I really didn't like Astrid. She is what I call The Wounded Bunny character. She is perhaps less bunny than some but still. She had a level on conceit that I found frustrating. I felt like she was always talking down to Soren. She came off more like a child than amnesic Baldur. This was a grand epic but somehow she came off as melodramatic. I wanted the smack her most of the time.
Soren was better but not by much. I can handle moodiness, some of my favorite characters are a bit moody, but I struggled with Soren a little. It's not his moodiness, really, it's that I feel like he had the same melodrama as Astrid. I mean, he certainly has a very tragic past, and his struggle with his berserking is awesome but the way everything was suddenly all about Astrid just never sat well with me. They didn't really click together. I never felt it for them and usually the romance is one of my favorite parts. I think Soren was at his most interesting when he was with the other characters. Baldur or Glory or Vidar. I'm hoping the second will have more of this since he can't be with Astrid all of the time.
There was a little part of me that wanted him to accidentally kill Astrid in his fury. I know that's terrible and I know it wouldn't happen. But think of the conflict! Think of the angst! He finds Astrid, who grounds him, and then kills her when he berserks trying to save her and Baldur. It would be awesome!
I wish that the two main characters had been a little more fleshed out. The story of Soren's dad was awesome and the back stories on the secondary characters are awesome. Astrid's felt weak, I didn't care. I wanted to...at the beginning, anyway, but I couldn't. Even the whole thing with her mother as Idun was just...ugh.
But my dislike of Astrid was balanced out by my life for the setting the society. Even if it came out a little heavy handed name-dropy in the beginning. It worked out well.
So, as I said, before I give The Lost Sun a rating of Epic.
The mythology and the secondary characters totally save this one. A little humor might have helped. Some more road-trip fun might have been cool too.
Has anyone read it? What do you think?