Soren Bearskin has grown up in a United States colonized by the Vikings rather than the Puritans, a country where trolls hide in the mountains and Norse gods walk the land, where children learn how to sword-fight in school and every year the land is renewed by the god of light, Baldur, as he is resurrected from his winter death. Except this year, Baldur fails to appear. A search is begun, a boon is offered by Odin to whomever can return his missing sun, and Astrid Glyn, the daughter of the most famous seer in New Asgard, convinces Soren that it is their fate to find Baldur. Together, they embark across an America that is strange and yet familiar, hoping to find their god and their fate at the same time.
I loved The Lost Sun. The story felt old and familiar--in a good way. It's the story of humans and gods, of humans being manipulated by the gods and manipulating them in turn. Even if the reader is unfamiliar with Norse mythology, the book seamlessly interweaves history and storytelling, so that even I felt knowledgeable by the end (and when I started reading this, the movie Thor comprised the extent of my Viking religious education.) The same-but-not-the-same-ness of the world will appeal to fans of Holly Black's White Cat series, and the intervention of the gods on earth will appeal to fans of Josephine Angelini's Starcrossed and even fans of Neil Gaiman's American Gods. The magic feels real and grounded, the romance feels organic and well-developed, and Gratton's clean and dreamy prose brings all the elements together in a remarkable way. A fun read for teens and adults alike.