10 books like Edda

By Snorri Sturluson, Anthony Faulkes (translator),

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Edda. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Norse Myths

By Carolyne Larrington,

Book cover of Norse Myths: A Guide to the Gods and Heroes

There are many books that aim to provide a succinct, coherent introduction to the subject of Norse mythology. Few, however, manage to so with the clarity and authority of Professor Carolyne Larrington’s The Norse Myths: A Guide to the Gods and Heroes. This book deals with all of the critical aspects of the mythos: from Ginnungagap (‘the howling void’) to Ragnarök (‘the doom of the gods’) by way of Yggdrasil the world-tree, the divine families (the Æsir and the Vanir) and the giants who opposed them, as well as the doings of human heroes like Sigurd the Volsung. This is an excellent introduction to the subject that includes retellings of many of the most important myths alongside illustrations and vital historical and literary context. If you are just beginning your journey into this realm of monsters and gods, there are few better places to start.

Norse Myths

By Carolyne Larrington,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Who were the Norse gods - the mighty AEsyr, led by Odinn, and the mysterious Vanir? In The Norse Myths we meet this passionate and squabbling pantheon, and learn of the mythological cosmos they inhabit. Passages translated from the Old Norse bring this legendary world to life, from the myths of creation to ragnaroek, the prophesied end of the world at the hands of Loki's army of monsters and giants, and everything that comes in between: the problematic relationship between the gods and the giants, in which enmity and trickery are punctuated by marriages and seductions; the (mis) adventures of…


Norse Myths

By Kevin Crossley-Holland,

Book cover of Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings

The way these stories are phrased here makes this my favourite set of retellings. Crossley-Holland’s choice of words evokes the original Norse. He uses alliteration, mainly when describing land and sea, and he is very careful to use words that come from Old English, a sister language to Old Norse, in preference to words from Latin, Greek, and post-Latin languages. There are plenty of other retellings that cover similar ground, but none with quite this joy in the energy of the original.

Norse Myths

By Kevin Crossley-Holland,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

With colour artwork by Gillian McClure, a collection of Norse myths.


The Poetic Edda

By Unknown, Jackson Crawford (translator),

Book cover of The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes

The most compelling original source material for the Norse myths is a collection of anonymous poems known as the Poetic Edda. Based on a 13th-century Icelandic transcription of ancient oral legends, the Poetic Edda includes the creation myths of the Ash Tree and the Frost Giants, the adventures of Thor and Loki, and many other lesser-known Norse tales. Jackson Crawford’s translation manages the difficult task of making the stories understandable while capturing the rhythm and beauty of the original poems.

The Poetic Edda

By Unknown, Jackson Crawford (translator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"The poems of the Poetic Edda have waited a long time for a Modern English translation that would do them justice. Here it is at last (Odin be praised!) and well worth the wait. These amazing texts from a 13th-century Icelandic manuscript are of huge historical, mythological and literary importance, containing the lion's share of information that survives today about the gods and heroes of pre-Christian Scandinavians, their unique vision of the beginning and end of the world, etc. Jackson Crawford's modern versions of these poems are authoritative and fluent and often very gripping. With their individual headnotes and complementary…


History of the Danes

By Saxo Grammaticus, Peter Fisher,

Book cover of History of the Danes

While Snorri wrote in his native Old Norse in Iceland, unbeknownst to him, a Danish writer remembered as Saxo the Grammarian ('Grammaticus') was writing a monumental history of the Danish kingdom in Latin. Since the old gods were held to be the ancestors of the royal families of medieval Scandinavia, Saxo spends quite a bit of time in the first nine books of 'The History of the Danes' retelling their stories. Many fans of Norse mythology who read the Eddas still never approach Saxo's work, which in fact has been mined in recent centuries for many rich details that are preserved nowhere else. Like Snorri, Saxo tries to "rationalize" the old gods into becoming misguided or deceitful human beings from the distant past, and he does a more thorough job of it, but even through this veneer, it is hard not to recognize the same characters that we know from…

History of the Danes

By Saxo Grammaticus, Peter Fisher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked History of the Danes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Text: English, Latin


The Saga of the Volsungs

By Unknown, Jackson Crawford (translator),

Book cover of The Saga of the Volsungs: With the Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok

The closest thing to a "novel" from medieval Scandinavia, The Saga of the Volsungs was written down in the 1200s in Iceland by an author who knew the poems about the Volsungs in the Poetic Edda, but also knew a vast wealth of additional poems about them that are otherwise lost to us. Rather than transmit the poems directly, this unknown author chose to attempt to put together a cohesive story of the sprawling generations of this family, beginning with the fathering of their first ancestor by the god Odin and continuing through all the events that lead Odin himself to engineer the death of its last generations. Here we have dwarves forging magic swords, dragon-slayers, Valkyries laboring under the weight of ill-considered oaths, and star-crossed lovers seeking bloody revenge. This volume also includes the medieval "fanfic" sequel, The Saga of Ragnar Lothbrók, written shortly after The Saga of the…

The Saga of the Volsungs

By Unknown, Jackson Crawford (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Saga of the Volsungs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the translator of the bestselling Poetic Edda (Hackett, 2015) comes a gripping new rendering of two of the greatest sagas of Old Norse literature. Together the two sagas recount the story of seven generations of a single legendary heroic family and comprise our best source of traditional lore about its members-including, among others, the dragon-slayer Sigurd, Brynhild the Valkyrie, and the Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok.


The Heliand

By G. Ronald Murphy (translator),

Book cover of The Heliand: The Saxon Gospel

The ninth-century author is unknown. I am the translator and commentator. If you know the Gospel story but have never heard it expressed in another world’s words and values, you are in for a treat. When I was translating it, I found every day brought a chuckle or a smile as the world of Palestine and Near East became the shores of the North Sea. Christ becomes a “chieftain” with his twelve “thanes/men” around him, “faith” becomes “loyalty,” Judas is described as a “loyalty liar,” and Jesus changes water into wine at Cana so that all the guests can continue having a merry time on the benches. Though we are a thousand years away, we still speak Saxon in a way. It still hits home.

The Heliand

By G. Ronald Murphy (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Heliand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A spirited retelling of the Gospel story in a Germanic setting, the ninth-century A.D. Old Saxon epic poem The Heliand is at last available in English in Ronald Murphy's graceful new translation. Representing the first full integration and poetic reworking of the Gospel story into Northern European warrior imagery and culture, the poem finds a place for many Old Northern religious concepts and images while remaining faithful to the orthodox Christian
teaching of the Gospel of St. Mark. Accessible to students of medieval and comparative literature, Murphy's introduction and notes provide valuable insight and a cultural context for this unique…


Scandinavian Mythology

By H.R. Ellis Davidson,

Book cover of Scandinavian Mythology

The author is one of the most renowned scholars of the ancient Northern world. This book is here because I find it a gold mine of artifacts and all are accompanied by the most extensive illustrations possible on every page. There are burial ships for journeying to Valhalla, pictures of ax men on the rampage in England, a solar disc on wheels being pulled by a bronze horse, elaborately carved prows of Viking ships, Christ crucified carved as being held prisoner entangled in the tree Yggdrasil. If you can’t make the journey, but are intrigued by the artifacts of the pagan-Christian world, this is the book to settle down with by the fireplace on a cold winter’s eve.

Scandinavian Mythology

By H.R. Ellis Davidson,

Why should I read it?

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


The Poetic Edda

By Carolyne Larrington (translator),

Book cover of The Poetic Edda

The author is unknown, and though the work was copied down in the thirteenth century, it contains many elements from much earlier, especially from the creation myths. This book is the sine qua non for getting to the world of the thought of the Viking era’s mindset, its metaphors, its values in plain advice and in poetic images. It tells of the world and of what is going on in heaven and on earth. The scholar can’t do without it. If you find yourself curious about the original form of the myths and stories, or at least as near as we can get to some of them, the Poetic Edda is indispensable.

The Poetic Edda

By Carolyne Larrington (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Poetic Edda as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

She sees, coming up a second time,
earth from the ocean, eternally green;
the waterfalls plunge, an eagle soars above them,
over the mountain hunting fish.

After the terrible conflagration of Ragnarok, the earth rises serenely again from the ocean, and life is renewed. The Poetic Edda begins with The Seeress's Prophecy which recounts the creation of the world, and looks forward to its destruction and rebirth. In this great collection of Norse-Icelandic mythological and heroic poetry, the exploits of gods and humans are related. The one-eyed Odin, red-bearded Thor, Loki the trickster, the lovely goddesses, and the giants who…


The Poetic Edda

By Henry Adams Bellows,

Book cover of The Poetic Edda: The Heroic Poems

When it comes to learning about Norse mythology, you can’t beat the original source material. If you are a bit of a history nerd like me, it’s fascinating to read a translation of the original Old Norse poems. These poems can be found in a text called the Poetic Edda, which has several different translations. I like the Henry Adams Bellows translation, as well as Dr. Jackson Crawford’s. Crawford has YouTube videos that taught me a lot while I was writing my book, so that’s worth checking out, if you’re interested.

The Poetic Edda

By Henry Adams Bellows,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Poetic Edda as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Passed down long ago from poet to poet and singer to singer in the great oral tradition of Scandinavia, this collection of heroic sagas explores a mythical world. Incorporating legends of Norse gods and heroes, great fires and floods, superhuman warriors and doomed lovers, these dramatic poems weave vivid portraits of powerful characters caught up in passion, ambition, and destiny. Filled with gripping conceptions of the world's creation and ultimate destruction, the verses chronicle the triumphs and tragedies of a lost mythological past, where words of wisdom and beauty echoed off the steel of waving swords.
The hero poems of…


Norse Myths

By Martin J. Dougherty,

Book cover of Norse Myths: Viking Legends of Heroes and Gods

This book I love purely for the photographs of archeological treasures and historical paintings. It’s in the format often referred to as a “coffee table book.” However, even though you may be tempted to page through it only to look at its impressive graphics and illustrations, the content is very much researched and informative. I especially like the sections on magical creatures and how Norse mythology has influenced our modern world and more current fiction.

Norse Myths

By Martin J. Dougherty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

You may not think you know much about Norse mythology but you've heard of Valhalla and the Valkyrie, and of trolls and elves, and you'd certainly miss Wednesday and Thursday - named after Norse gods - if they weren't there. Norse mythology is rich in adventure and ideas about creation, death and the afterlife. And from Wagnerian operas to Lord of the Rings to Marvel's Avengers, it has had an immense influence across Western culture. Norse Myths takes a wide-ranging approach to the topic, examining the creation stories of the Norse world, the monsters and the pantheons of the deities…


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