The best books on Viking gods & heroes

Who am I?

George Hagen is a Brooklyn writer who has written two adventure books for children about talking ravens. Hagen lived on three different continents by the time he was eleven, and developed a tremendous passion for folktales of all cultures from Africa, Egypt, Greece, Europe, and Celtic and Norse myth. His children's books were inspired by the myth of the Viking God Odin whose two ravens, Huginn and Muninn, flew around the land of ice and fire, reporting all the news. Hagen has appeared before hundreds of students, unraveling the secret mystery of riddles (modern and ancient) at schools from New York to Los Angeles.

I wrote...

Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle

By George Hagen,

Book cover of Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle

What is my book about?

A tangle of ingenious riddles, a malevolent necklace called a torc, and flocks of fearsome, immortal valravens: these are just some of the obstacles that stand between Gabriel and his father, Adam Finley, who has vanished from their Brooklyn brownstone. When Gabriel answers a raven's riddle, he begins a journey to rescue his father who is being held captive by the evil demon Corax—half man, half raven—in a foreboding underworld of birds called Aviopolis. With the help of his best friends Abby, Somes & Pamela, Gabriel solves riddles, crosses chasms, and duels the demon ruler of the valravens.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths

George Hagen Why did I love this book?

The D'Aulaire's book is a visual feast of stories from the land of ice, fire and Viking culture. The tales are well-told and exciting. It comes with lively illustrations which offer children who haven't encountered Thor, Odin, Freya or Loki before, a panorama of this marvelous world and the many adventures of the Norse Gods.

By Ingri D'Aulaire, Edgar Parin D'Aulaire,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Caldecott medal-winning d'Aulaires once again captivate their young audience with this beautifully illustrated introduction to Norse legends, telling stories of Odin the All-father, Thor the Thunder-god and the theft of his hammer, Loki the mischievous god of the Jotun Race, and Ragnarokk, the destiny of the gods. Children meet Bragi, the god of poetry, and the famous Valkyrie maidens, among other gods, goddesses, heroes, and giants. Illustrations throughout depict the wondrous other world of Norse folklore and its fantastical Northern landscape.

Book cover of Norse Mythology

George Hagen Why did I love this book?

Neil Gaiman relates the classic tales of Norse Mythology in an easy-to-read, modern-day voice. The best thing about this book is that he describes the Hall of Valhalla and the Realm of Asgard as clearly as your own town, and the personalities of the gods as familiar as members of your own family—that is, if you had an uncle who could command thunder with a mighty hammer, or a father who was a king who travelled in disguise, assisted by two whispering ravens!

By Neil Gaiman,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Norse Mythology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin's son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki-son of a giant-blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the…

Book cover of Norse, Celtic Mythology & Runes: Explore The Timeless Tales Of Norse & Celtic Folklore, The Myths, History, Sagas & Legends + The Magic, Spells & Meanings of Runes

George Hagen Why did I love this book?

Have you ever been curious about changlings, banshees, or megaliths? Have you wondered who, exactly, Merlin the magician was? It's all in Sofia Visconti's timeless tales. This book is a great guide to the Celtic, Irish and Scottish myths. It's like having an encyclopedia of magical beings at your fingertips.

By Sofia Visconti,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Norse, Celtic Mythology & Runes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Norse God Odin was a relentless seeker of knowledge and wisdom, willing to sacrifice almost anything for this pursuit.

Odin's hunger for wisdom is evident in many of the stories that involve him, and I invite you to share his willingness to let go of your reality and jump into the mysterious worlds of Norse & Celtic Mythology and Runes.

Included in this Captivating 3 Book Collection are:

Runes: A Guide To The Magic, Meanings, Spells, Divination & Rituals Of Runes Celtic Mythology: Dive Into The Depths Of Ancient Celtic Folklore, The Myths, Legends & Tales of The Gods,…

Book cover of Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

George Hagen Why did I love this book?

Edith Hamilton wrote the last word on Greek myths. If any story isn't in here, it probably doesn't exist. She presents greatest stories from both Greek and Viking mythology, passed down for thousands of years, and depicts the Gods and heros of mythology as powerful beings full of very familiar human flaws.

By Edith Hamilton,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mythology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since its original publication by Little, Brown and Company in 1942, Edith Hamilton's Mythology has sold millions of copies throughout the word and established itself as a perennial bestseller in its various available formats: hardcover, trade paperback, mass market paperback, and e-book. For 75 years readers have chosen this book above all others to discover the thrilling, enchanting, and fascinating world of Western mythology-from Odysseus's adventure-filled journey to the Norse god Odin's effort to postpone the final day of doom. This exciting new deluxe, large-format hardcover edition, published in celebration of the book's 75th anniversary, will be beautifully packages and…

Book cover of Beowulf

George Hagen Why did I love this book?

If you want a heart-stopping superhero tale, this is it! Beowulf is the tale of a valiant knight and his conquest of the monster Grendel, told with bone-crunching drama! This story is an ancient Scandinavian hero saga, translated for this book by the poet Seamus Heaney. A recent edition includes pictures to give the reader a visual sense of Viking culture.

By Seamus Heaney,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Beowulf as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Composed towards the end of the first millennium, the Anglo-Saxon poem Beowulf is one of the great Northern epics and a classic of European literature. In his new translation, Seamus Heaney has produced a work which is both true, line by line, to the original poem, and an expression, in its language and music, of something fundamental to his own creative gift.

The poem is about encountering the monstrous, defeating it, and then having to live on, physically and psychically exposed, in that exhausted aftermath. It is not hard to draw parallels between this story and the history of the…

You might also like...

The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy

By Alexander Rose,

Book cover of The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy

Alexander Rose Author Of Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men's Epic Duel to Rule the World

New book alert!

Who am I?

A long time ago, I was an early-aviation historian, but eventually realized that I knew only half the story—the part about airplanes. But what about airships? Initially, I assumed, like so many others, that they were a flash-in-the-pan, a ridiculous dead-end technology, but then I realized these wondrous giants had roamed and awed the world for nearly four decades. There was a bigger story here of an old rivalry between airplanes and airships, one that had since been forgotten, and Empires of the Sky was the result.

Alexander's book list on Zeppelin airships

What is my book about?

From the author of Washington’s Spies, the thrilling story of two rival secret agents — one Confederate, the other Union — sent to Britain during the Civil War.

The South’s James Bulloch, charming and devious, was ordered to acquire a clandestine fleet intended to break Lincoln’s blockade, sink Northern merchant vessels, and drown the U.S. Navy’s mightiest ships at sea. Opposing him was Thomas Dudley, an upright Quaker lawyer determined to stop Bulloch in a spy-versus-spy game of move and countermove, gambit and sacrifice, intrigue and betrayal.

Their battleground was the Dickensian port of Liverpool, whose dockyards built more ships each year than the rest of the world combined and whose merchant princes, said one observer, were “addicted to Southern proclivities, foreign slave trade, and domestic bribery.”

The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy

By Alexander Rose,

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Washington's Spies, the thrilling story of the Confederate spy who came to Britain to turn the tide of the Civil War-and the Union agent resolved to stop him.

"Entertaining and deeply researched...with a rich cast of spies, crooks, bent businessmen and drunken sailors...Rose relates the tale with gusto." -The New York Times

In 1861, soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, two secret agents-one a Confederate, the other his Union rival-were dispatched to neutral Britain, each entrusted with a vital mission.

The South's James Bulloch, charming and devious, was to acquire…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Norse mythology, mythology, and Vikings?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Norse mythology, mythology, and Vikings.

Norse Mythology Explore 58 books about Norse mythology
Mythology Explore 691 books about mythology
Vikings Explore 110 books about Vikings