A brilliant Norse mythology read that stands on its own merits to produce a witty, unique and enjoyable love story that keeps you turning page after page.
Truth and Other Lies first came to my attention during Norsevember at the end of last year, in which Lyra Wolf got really involved!
I’d added her book to my TBR, knowing if it made me grin as much as she often has on twitter, it would be an especially good read for the depressing times we find ourselves in.
My feelings were correct; Truth and Other Lies is full of Lyra’s happy personality, which she manages to interweave through this story well. What I didn’t expect (in large part due to the synopsis which suggests more of a comedic tale) was a story that was not only entertaining and funny at times, but one full of depth, love and heart keeping you invested in the characters and storyline. One that really grabs you and holds on.
“Tread lightly Sly One. You know the truth now, and the truth is a dangerous thing.”
The Norse pantheon is full of characters bursting with unique personalities so to write them well they do tend to require an author capable of playing on these personality quirks believably, which is certainly the case here.
As is often also the case, Loki is that character that many readers gravitate towards, and it’s nice to see a fresh take here in which he isn’t pure evil Loki or ambiguous Marvel Loki. The lack of written primary sources on Norse Mythology means less is known about the Gods than those of some other religions, which gives a bit more creative freedom, so it’s refreshing to get a different interpretation of Loki and a way to see another side to his character in Truth and Other Lies.
I particularly enjoyed Loki’s relationship with Odin, and the snarky, proud, witty and resentful characteristics of Loki that Lyra is able to capture. To see his softer side with Sigyn (who is a great character herself – the hard work hasn’t only gone into fleshing out Loki as a character), with the blazing passion still at the forefront of his being adds that extra dimension. It’s also great to see there are no pretences that Odin can in fact be a bit of a dick.
“Even the god of lies can occasionally tell the truth.”
Although there is an engaging story at play, the characters are definitely one of the focal points and strengths to the book.
The story starts out with a vengeful Loki in a church, ready to bring Rangnarok down on everyone’s heads, before reverting back to the starting events that set Loki on this path for destruction. It works really well, and I enjoyed the various settings in the book.
I like that Lyra bases some of the story in 16th century Switzerland, with Loki evading Odin; some of the story inevitably taking place in Asgard aswell as touching on the mythology. One of the first parts of the book starts with the now infamous wedding of Thor, which Lyra writes brilliantly, full of entertainment and charm – which sets the tone for the rest of the book.
Unlike a number of stories inspired by Norse Mythology, I feel like you can enjoy this one without any prior knowledge, although like playing a video game or watching a movie and knowing the easter egg references, it always helps to know a little which helps you appreciate it all the more.
It’s easy to get attached to Sigyn and Loki himself with Lyra building up the stakes throughout, taking you on their journey, helping you understand how Loki could arrive at the scene we see at the beginning of the book. He can be a destructive, chaotic menace and we can still feel for him, and take his side. It is to the author’s credit that she makes us care for the traditional antagonist of Norse Mythology and see things from his point of view.
A great read that is highly recommended especially for fans of Norse Mythology, which Lyra excels at capturing the essence of.
Nothing is trickier than the truth.
All Loki the trickster god of Asgard wants is a quiet, peaceful life where he’s free to needle Balder, occasionally stir up the inter-realm porridge pot, and get Thor to dress in women’s garments (for all the best reasons).
Getting beset by sudden, painful, and terribly inconvenient visions of blood, ash, and death are definitely not on his to-do list. But, because of some small, ridiculous remnant of caring that refuses to be extinguished, Loki feels he must save Asgard…and that means warning Odin, his least favorite god (next to Thor).
But getting the gods to believe the boy who cried Fenrir is harder than it looks, and time is running out, not just for Asgard, but also for a mortal woman named Sigyn who may just hold the key to Loki’s future.
Loki is about to find out the hard way that the only thing crueler than truth are the lies behind it all.