Book review - The Monstrous Child-
review by Becky
A stunning, operatic and epic drama like no other. Meet Hel, an ordinary teenager - and goddess of the Underworld. Why is life so unfair? But Hel tries to make the best of it, creating gleaming halls in her dark kingdom and welcoming the dead who she is forced to host for eternity. Until eternity itself is threatened. Francesca Simon's wonderful first foray into teen fiction.
Available on amazon.com here: The Monstrous Child
This book, this story, is not just about Hel, the Norse Goddess of the Underworld, it is her story in her words. Full of opinions, thoughts, emotions, dreams and fears, truth and self-deceit.
It is a very gentle almost slow telling of how Hel came to be where she is and it almost mirrors the snail pace of the realm she rules.
But throughout you can sense the young girl behind her giant-god persona, feel her constant self-consciousness about her corpse legs, reel from her anger at the Aesir and in particular Odin for sending her to the Underworld and smile at her pride as she discovers and explores her own godly powers to build her kingdom and rule over the dead.
For Hel is very much like us mortals in that she hopes for love, longs for company, feels crippled not just by her own disability but also the situation she has been forced and also abandoned too.
For a Goddess who is often portrayed as cruel, brutal and uncaring and with grace, deep almost disturbing honesty and a literary magnifying glass, Francesca Simon has shown us all the why and the hidden side to this most interesting and often overlooked character.
Want to adventure throught the lands of the Vikings? The height of the Vikings is an amazing period of time and there is a lot of great fiction that is based on historical facts from that period and place. Rebecca Wilson has written a guide to the genre and to some of the best works in the genre.
If you are fascinated by the subject of Vikings you should check out her blog at: http://www.soulchaserbecky.blogspot.com/
You can follow her on Twitter @soulchaserbecky.
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