Published by Gyldendal on 9 September 2013
Fifteen winters old Hirka learns that she's an Odinchild - a tail-less rot from another world. Disgusting. Fear-inducing. Chased. She no longer knows who she is, and someone wants to kill her to keep that a secret. But there are worse things than Odinchildren, and Hirka isn't the only being who has torn through the gates.
Odinsbarn is a fantasy that includes the kind of epic-ness that is so hard to find it seems almost impossible. Alas, it’s completely possible!
Odinsbarn is a fantastic story, where the mythology has a certain Norse feel to it. Where the 12-person council that rules over the world seems to be rotten on the inside; all the while fearing the rot of those that are other. I found the fear of other and how that fear was dealt with to be both fascinating and accurate. The folks in this story were proud of their tails, their history, and their ability to share energy with the earth.The Seer was there to protect them from the blind, and I was so completely immersed in the story from beginning to end it was difficult to put the book down to get some sleep.
Hirka is definitely other, she is the tail-less, possibly an Odinchild, and she is both feared and looked at with disgust.
The world building is amazing, and I can’t say it enough, this has to be translated to English so all my English-speaking friends can get immersed with the ravens, the ability, the all-aroundness, and the fight for justice. The writing is so well done, though, so the translator would have to be able to also transform some of the wordplay in order for the whole story to have the same voice and feel to it as in the original version.
Odinsbarn is both plot and character driven, with Hirka a fantastic heroine. She is young, and in some instances, I felt that. In other instances, though, she was able to see much farther than herself and her close circle to understand things much older characters didn’t even begin to grasp. Her inner strength was both calm and sure, and when she was afraid of something, she embraced that fear and made it her own. Dealing with it, feeling it and the she could move forward once more.
Odinsbarn is tight, and it is solidly built on the foundations of Norse mythology. The author managed to use the mythology as a building block and then make it her own, though. And of course, I will go straight to the next book – Råta (The Rot) – so I can see if any of my predictions turn out to be true. Because the fact that these folks are afraid of humns, and they think Hirka is an Odinchild. They use ravens both for protection and as a guid makes me think there is still much more to both the story and the world(s) than what conclusions I have made so far.
Written in third person point of view, past tense, and mostly from Hirka’s perspective, Odinsbarn grabbed my interest in a different way than any YA fantasy has done. Maybe because of the Norse roots? Maybe because the very distinct voice of Hirka? Maybe because the times when I got parts of the story from a different character’s perspective it truly brought something both interesting and vital to the story? I can’t really explain it, but if you enjoy YA fantasy, you should cross your fingers and your toes for a translation. Not sure if there are any ears we can try to whisper to?
Rime warned of danger, she felt it in every single one of her nerves. She had thought she’d recognized him, but what she saw in front of her was only a memory. The man in front of her was no childhood rival.
Father looked at her. His eyes were deep and withered like his legs. This was how it was going to be. She was a wrongborn who couldn’t share the energy. She was blind for the Ability. Cheated of what everyone else had. Ability-less. And tail-less.
The room smelled like leather from the bindings. And power. It smelled like power. This was how power was supposed to smell. Everlasting. Immortal. Boundless.
She closed her eyes against his chest and listened to the beats of his heart. The best sound she’d ever heard. The best she’d ever felt. And also the worst. She had tasted something that could never be hers. Not without killing him. It was too much to bear.Lexxie has a new 2017 favorite read in Odinsbarn - epic fantasy at its finest! Click To Tweet