Since I reviewed this book there have been a lot of changes. Not least the cover has changed. There has also been an amazing audiobook released, of which I was lucky enough to be sent a copy by the author, thank you so much Lyra! So I decided to revisit my original review in time for #Norsevember, which is a month long reading event hosted by Alex from Spells and Spaceships blog.
Truth and Other Lies by Lyra Wolf
Series: The Nine Worlds Rising (#1)
Published: October 9, 2020
Genre: High/Mythic Fantasy, Romance
Age Group: Adult
Pages: 340 (Print Length)
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.
Add to goodreads | Buy Here | Audiobook link
By: Lyra Wolf
Narrated by: Casey Eade
Series: The Nine Worlds Rising, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
Unabridged Audiobook Categories: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Fantasy
Truth and Other Lies by Lyra Wolf is an amazing book and the audiobook narration, by Loki impersonator Casey Eade is equally fantastic. She brings a perfect sense of drama to the story through many disparate voices, bringing all of the characters to life with heart and plenty of emotion. Her Loki is the most amazing, however. His voice makes him sound languid and completely in control of the situation with an irreverant lust for life and all of its pleasures. The Trickster god has a shamefacedly brazen side to his nature and you can hear it dripping from his accent. When taken by anger his voice increases the tension terrifically. When talking normally, he has a wonderfully sing-song voice which is highly engaging.
Thor’s wedding to the king of the ice giants, Thrym, is a hilarious episode and the narration adds plenty of tension as Loki tries to pull the wool over Thrym’s eyes about Thor’s identity. He seems to really believe he is marrying Freya. Thor is presented as a hothead with a large ego and lacking a sense of humour. His no-nonsense voice somehow reflects this perfectly.
A softly spoken, persuasive Odin is a revelation. I didn’t expect him to sound like this but it works really well.
Sigyn is wholesome, innocent and girlish-sounding.
“Love is a funny thing,” she said. “It can harm, but it can heal. Give us pain, and give us joy. But what I’ve discovered is that no matter what, when love does make us fools, it also makes us better.”
The tension is also completely controlled by Casey as emphasis is placed on all the right words and her narration speeds up. She is the perfect narrator for this book.
Find a sample below:
Book Review (first posted as part of a Storytellers on Tour blog tour)
Truth and Other Lies is the story of Loki, Norse god of chaos and lies, prophesied bringer of destruction to the Nine Realms and therefore also to the gods in the form of Ragnarok.
Truth and Other Lies is also a story of love, and tragic loss. It’s a story of the remnants of the uncompromising, heartbreaking love shared centuries before this story between Loki and Odin, of Loki and human woman Sigyn’s all-consuming passionate, pure, romantic love in 16th Century Basel and the immediate unconditional love Loki has for their twin babies. Loki the lover is thwarted from every angle by the jealous gods who, by being dead-set on their own self-preservation, set in motion events which will only bring about their inevitable destruction.
The story begins in a modern day setting in the Münster Cathedral of Basel, Switzerland.
A tormented, raving Loki is encountered standing naked on the altar by a modern day human. The human, scared for the safety of this lunatic, engages him in conversation while awaiting the police – who never show up- and Loki explains that he plans to destroy the universe and recounts his story via a flashback to 500 years ago:
“Isn’t wanting such destruction extreme?”
“I only know extreme”LOKI VIA LYRA WOLF
The flashback begins in Asgard 500 years previously and from this point the story is told from Loki’s point of view, until the final chapter which jumps forward to modern day in the cathedral again, and the point of view of the man in the cathedral.
In Asgard, we are treated to the well-known humorous Norse myth of Thor’s wedding to Thrym. Loki’s mischievous sense of humour is laid out for us, as is the amusing banter between Thor and Loki. There is plenty of humour to be found throughout the book:
“You leave all my bits and pieces as they are,” he spat. “I don’t trust your magic, lie-smith.”THOR VIA LYRA WOLF
The aim of the wedding is to regain Thor’s stolen hammer and once they are successful, Odin decides he and Loki should go away from Asgard to celebrate. This leads to Odin taking Loki to sixteenth century Basel, Switzerland. It is carnival time, the perfect opportunity for Loki’s mischief and mayhem to be unleashed, but Odin gets more than he bargained for – Loki encounters the beautiful Sigyn, who is blessed with the element of fidelity, in a way that only a goddess ought to be. Odin has heard the name Sigyn before, in a witch’s prophesy and it strikes fear in him. This chance meeting means the ball has been set rolling towards Ragnarok. He has to try and stop the inevitable and tries to stop Loki from spending time with her, but soon Loki is in love with Sigyn and begins a simple life with her, living in her house while rebuilding her family’s printshop. There is some lovely evocative descriptive detail in these scenes of simple human life:
‘Warmth hugged the room from a green tiled stove of lead-glazed earthenware standing in the corner…’LYRA WOLF
Loki describes himself as the trickster, a liar and the god of chaos, he is full of fire from the chaotic element within him. He is witty, intelligent, full of quips, passion and love. He does not know how to temper and control his feelings.
Sigyn is a conundrum. She is human and yet she carries an element within her, much like a goddess. Her Fidelity, the element within her, allows Loki to make her into a goddess to save her from death. She is brave, fierce and bold (Loki encounters her bathing naked in a river), a loyal sister and daughter, hard-working and determined. She puts her dying father first, before her own needs and will not sell out her dead-beat brother Simon. She is also kind, she cares about Frau Annan getting home safely despite the Frau’s meanness to her. Sigyn is loving, independent, too proud to accept help. She is the perfect woman – is there any wonder a god falls in love with her?
We learn about the other characters in the book purely from Loki’s perspective. Odin is portrayed as a “a masterful con”. He is a natural leader and his element is ambition. Odin will do whatever it takes to save his skin and that of the other gods, but he is a fair god and is extremely angry when his wife Frigg breaks his word to Loki.
You are a trickster and a liar, as I am a killer and a deceiver. This is what we are, and we cannot change what is our very essence.ODIN VIA LYRA WOLF
Thor’s depiction in this book is of a big, strong, not too smart god of thunder and strength. Loki is bored by Thor’s lack of intelligence and sees him as an obstacle who must be manipulated or overpowered to get to the outcome he desires.
Tyr is described fairly stereotypically as fair, yet boring. The dull peacekeeper.
Frigg is shown to be a heartless bitch of a goddess with zero compassion for human life. Loki believes she never loved her husband Odin but was entranced by his power and therefore her own by association.
Loki has been having headaches which lead to visions and eventually he is shown a vision of The Destroyer of worlds. It is a vision of inevitability in a place called Vigridr, or “Fate”. Loki then discovers from Golda the witch that he is The Destroyer who will bring about Ragnarok the destruction of the 9 realms.
You will descend upon the Nine Realms, and your children will end the reign of the gods in a final, glorious battle on Vigridr.GOLDA VIA LYRA WOLF
His children were taken away by Odin not for their own safety but for the safety of the gods – to delay the inevitable, but by doing so Odin sets in motion the events leading up to Ragnarok that he has been striving to prevent.
Lyra Wolf’s is a great version of these well-known Norse myths. Full of wit, intelligence, passion and romance. There is tension thrown in along the way and I found myself shocked at some of the things Loki does (without giving away any spoilers here). He is the god of chaos, after all, and as such it wouldn’t do to be predictable. I am eagerly looking forward to the remaining books in this series and would recommend it to adult lovers of Norse mythology and love stories.
About the Author
Lyra Wolf is a Swiss-American author of fantasy and mythic fiction.
Raised in Indiana, home to a billion corn mazes, she now lives in Central Florida, home to a billion mosquitoes. She enjoys drinking espresso, wandering through old city streets, and being tragically drawn to 18th century rogues.
When Lyra isn’t fulfilling the wishes of her overly demanding Chihuahua, you can find her writing about other worlds and the complicated people who live there.
Lyra has earned a B.A. in History and M.A. in English.
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