Time for another review from this year’s pile of SPFBO books! ^_^
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.
This is mostly a retelling of Norse Mythology, specifically of Loki, told from his point of view. Loki is mostly minding his own business, being the god of mischief, dressing Thor up as a bride (for reasons), pissing off Balder (like ya do), avoiding Odin, and sleeping with… pretty much everyone. He starts getting headaches, which start turning into more vision than headache and his visions show the destruction of not just Asgard, but of all the nine worlds. Despite being the last person anyone would expect it from, Loki decides that he must save the world.
I really enjoy mythological retellings, so this one was right up my alley. Loki is, even despite all of his shortcomings, a really easy character for me to cheer for, and seeing this one from his point of view was nice. He’s definitely not a hero, but he’s not really an antihero. He’s somewhere between those things, but ultimately leans towards the side of good, though usually for selfish reasons.
Truth and Other Lies tells some of Loki’s stories from mythology, like the time he had to convince the Jotnar that Thor was Freya to help get Mjolnir back. It places him in relationships that mythology puts him in too. Loki’s wife Sigyn is in this story as a mortal woman who Loki falls for after visiting Midgard. In his travels, Loki visits Angrboda, the mother of his kids (Hel, Fenrir, and Jormungand), when he needs help with the problem at hand. But the most interesting of Loki’s various relationships in this novel to me was the implied love affair between Loki and Odin, which happened at some point before the events taking place in the book. That was something I hadn’t ever considered about their relationship in mythology before, but I will admit that I was 100% here for the pining. Dear lord, the pining. ^_^
The book was well written and was paced pretty well. I never found it boring or slow. Admittedly there were a few times where the language seemed overly modern for the story at hand. More modern-sounding colloquialisms or words would make appearances. For the most part it didn’t bother me, but occasionally it was enough to take me out of the story a bit, as this does take place more or less in the 1500s.
All told, I had a good time with Truth and Other Lies. I’d definitely read more into the series, to see where it’ll go, because it ended, not in a cliffhanger, but more in a place that seems like it would be fun to continue from. I had 7/10 stars of fun with Truth and Other Lies, and if you’re a fan of Norse retellings, or just of Loki in general, you might like it too!