I enjoyed this book, but I have to say that my initial impression was not good. The problem (my problem) was that the first two chapters contained the Viking creation stories and they were told in a very stylized manner (undoubtedly like originally told) so that they simply didn't entertain me much. Beginning with the third chapter/story however, the style changed - became less formalized -- and I ended up enjoying the book a great deal.
Initially I borrowed it from the library in order to see if it would be appropriate for my young children as a read-aloud. The answer: NO. No Way. As I should have concluded from my own reading in Viking and Norse history, there was too much violence for my small fry. People, giants and gods are frequently 'offed', usually at a moments notice and without any particular sound reason other than whim.
Now an older child can infer something about the society that produced such stories and can get some insight as well as entertainment from a book like this. But for young children all of the higher aspects will pass over their heads.
Besides the stories there is a "Who's Who" and an Afterword. The Who's Who is not complete - which is kind of annoying - but it covers most of the important personages involved in the action. The Afterword is brief but nice, and talks about things such as the fact in the Norse mythology that even the fertility deity was male.
"The Viking gods had their origins in the Germanic gods of Northern Europe, but developed to suit the particular nature of the Vikings. The war between the Aesir and the Vanir shows the old fertility gods submitting to the gods of war; in Norse mythology even the chief fertility deity, Freyr, is male."
Mr. Philips then goes on to talk about the sources of our information, and the influence the Viking gods have even to this day in our own society: Tuesday or Tyr's day..., etc.
Three to Four Stars. [B-]. In my opinion, the stories are interesting but not for small fry due to the violence. The artwork is 'different', colorful, and intriguing. It sort of grows on you as you go along. The stories themselves are fascinating and demonstrate a decidedly different view of how the world works.