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Review: Worthy of Song and Story (Stian the Viking, #1) by Neal Chase

cover-sttormTwelve year-old Stian’s plans to be the greatest Viking ever appear to be over before they even begin when he’s captured by Dahlia—a dark elf and a girl. If being captured by a girl wasn’t bad enough, he discovers he may be the son of Loki. The same Loki who is the greatest enemy of the Viking gods and the one foretold to bring about the end of the world.

Knowing he is meant to do more than just be an ordinary Viking, Stian decides to discover the truth himself and free Loki from the clutches of Odin. Only then, will he know who he is and what he is meant to do, and maybe, put the so-called gods in their place. But first Stian must out-think, trick, and defeat Thor’s children. To do this he will need the power of Gram—a sword that can cut through anything from stone walls to dragon scales. Only one pure of heart, with the desire to help others, is worthy of wielding the mighty sword. If Stian succeeds, he will become the world’s most famous Viking and make others see him as a hero, but if he fails he will fall victim to the gods’ merciless justice.

I am a sucker for middle grade books that feature mythology, so when I got the chance to read Neal Chase’s debut, I jumped at it. WORTHY OF SONG AND STORY is a viking adventure filled with humour and friendship.

Stian is our hero, and I immediately felt drawn to him, mainly because of his sarcastic sense of humour and quick wit. Stian has a lot thrown at him throughout the course of the book, and whilst his  character growth is clear, I really liked that he remained true to his personality. He reminded me a bit of my brother–a cheeky chappy. I also really enjoyed Dahlia, the slightly more mature dark elf who accompanies Stian on his journey. Their friendship was built up really well–it was believable and felt organic.

The story was tightly-plotted and never dull, and the build up to the end was tension filled–I missed my train because I couldn’t stop reading. WORTHY OF SONG AND STORY was also really, really funny–from Thor’s son to accidental nakedness, this book will make you laugh.

When you think of middle grade mythology, you probably think of Rick Riordan, author of the PERCY JACKSON books. He almost has a monopoly on Greek, Norse and Egyptian myths. However, with WORTHY OF SONG AND STORY, Neal Chase gives us a fresh twist on Norse mythology that is exciting, action packed and full of heart. This is a book Rick Riordan fans will enjoy, but it is worthy in its own right and I throughly recommend it.

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