“Readers bored with Tolkien-clone fantasies will be enthralled by the intricately detailed world and characters Anderson brings to life here.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
The Grand Master of Science Fiction delivers “a Dark Age saga based on Old Scandinavian mythology and the exploits of the legendary Danish King Hadding . . . A brilliantly accomplished yarn” (Kirkus Reviews).
In a scheme arranged by the god Odin, Hadding is born to King Gram Skjoldung of Denmark but is sent to be raised by giants for his own safety. After his father is murdered, Hadding must claim his destiny. Prey to the follies of humans and gods, he rises to the challenges of war, fate, and love in a mythic adventure “episodic in character, gory in detail, fatalistic in atmosphere, and spiked with sinister, chthonic Norse magic” (Interzone).
“War of the Gods struck me like a hammer-bolt out of the sky.” —Black Gate
Praise for Poul Anderson
“Anderson has produced more milestones in contemporary science fiction and fantasy than any one man is entitled to.” —Stephen Donaldson
“One of science fiction’s most revered writers.” —USA Today
“The great canvas of interstellar space comes alive under Anderson’s hand as it does under no other.” —Gordon R. Dickson
“One of science fiction’s most influential and prolific writers.” —The Daily Telegraph
Veteran SF/fantasy writer Anderson (The Fleet of Stars) published his first short story 50 years ago, but he still manages to offer readers something out of the ordinary. Here, Anderson reinvents the story of Hadding, an early Danish king, weaving it into a saga of human and mythical races caught up in the conflict between warring Norse deities. Highly episodic in construction, the book reads more like a series of adventures than a traditional novel. Entrusted to the care of the giant Vagnhofdi, Hadding is raised in secret until he is old enough to journey forth and attract allies to help him defeat the Norse king Swipdag, who slew his father, King Gram, and took the throne. Once Hadding regains his rightful seat, however, there are more alliances to be made and enemies to squelch. With the occasional help of the mysterious gray-bearded warrior Gangleri, Hadding succeeds in building and holding a mighty kingdom, despite the treachery of his enemies and the overwhelming weight of his destiny. Anderson writes with a spare style, often relying on the alliterative, rhythmic prose of Scandinavian folklore, giving this epic tale an original spirit and tone. Readers bored with Tolkien-clone fantasies will be enthralled by the intricately detailed world and characters Anderson brings to life here.