Customer Reviews


4 Reviews
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The final third redeems all!
The text begins interestingly enough, albeit somewhat ponderously, as Poul Anderson, one of the greats of Science Fiction & Fantasy, essays once more to travel the mist-shrouded roads of Faery. Writing at least since the fifties (I enjoyed his stuff going back to the sixties), Anderson's "voice" seems to have mellowed and subtly altered with the passing of...
Published on 15 Feb 1998

versus
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Depressing and overtold.
This book is a depressing tale of a Scandanavian hero. It is no wonder the Scandanavians have the highest suicide rates in the industrialized world. This story goes from one battle to another without breath and there is no epic feeling to it. It seems the Danish King cannot help but offend gods, giants, elves and other mythic creatures at every turn. There are many...
Published on 20 Aug 1999


Most Helpful First | Newest First

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The final third redeems all!, 15 Feb 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: War of the Gods (Hardcover)
The text begins interestingly enough, albeit somewhat ponderously, as Poul Anderson, one of the greats of Science Fiction & Fantasy, essays once more to travel the mist-shrouded roads of Faery. Writing at least since the fifties (I enjoyed his stuff going back to the sixties), Anderson's "voice" seems to have mellowed and subtly altered with the passing of the years. Never one of the most moving or most profound of tale spinners, he was always, nevertheless, the consummate storyteller. Still this present tale lacks the energy and vitality of his earlier saga-like excursions. While The Broken Sword leaped with life and blood and darkness and Hrolf Kraki's Saga (basically a translation of a legendary Danish-Norse tale, with some additions by the author to make it more contemporary) charged onward from episode to episode until crashing mightily on the rocks of it's own climactic shore, this new tale seems oddly stilted and self-conscious. The language does not pour forth, carrying the reader over the unsure ground of fantasy, as Anderson was wont to do in former days, and the characters he has given us here seem paler than in the past -- and not nearly as interesting as their predecessors were. The protagonist, Hadding the Dane-King, for instance, moves sluggishly from one odd episode to another, always winning his battles and defeating his foes, never seeming to be in any serious danger at all, a circumstance which ultimately seems to tell on him as much as it does on us. And the people around him, as well as his enemies, never seem to be quite worthy of the attention he lavishes on them. Fostered by giants of old Norse legend and lover to his own foster mother (or sister) who adopts human form to be with him, guided by a mysterious one-eyed "wanderer", Hadding ought to be more multi-faceted than the invincible, noble hero we are given. Through much of this tale only the relatively easy-read prose (despite the incorporation of archaic words and forms to set the mood) and the intrinsically promising subject-matter (for those of us who like the Norse thing) keeps you reading. Written stolidly and with far more description than one is likely to find in the real Icelandic and Norse stuff, the tale yet retains the sleepy, dream-like presentation of events and images which is so characteristic of this material in its original form -- a form in which giants are never quite giants as we understand them (for they seem larger or smaller depending on their surroundings) and gods walk about like magicians. Nevertheless, Anderson has here created a tale which, surprisingly and for all its apparent faults, does stand up -- and admirably so, in the end. It is a story of sadness and, finally, understanding -- sketched against a backdrop of adventure and fighting and killing. The last part of the book redeems the slowness and awkward-seeming "forced" prose that went before as the truth of the tale is relentlessly brought home -- how a single life may be more than its appearance alone and how the worlds of fantasy and reality may intersect afterall. It's just a story, Anderson says in his afterword and, indeed, it is that -- but a story which reached me in a largely unexpected way. It takes an historical legend from much earlier times and revives it in a manner which does honor to the source material from which it is drawn while yet placing it in a perspective we moderns can grasp. As The Broken Sword was, no doubt, a young man's breathless and headlong tale (Anderson himself once suggested this in a foreword he'd written somewhat later to that book), so this one is the work of another writer entirely -- one who has lived his life and seen the fullness of it and its inevitable denouement. This one goes deeper than it seemed at the first. And redeems itself, and all of us, for that. -- Stuart W. Mirsky
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars What Happened?, 31 Dec 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: War of the Gods (Hardcover)
I had written a review of this book for this page about six to eight months ago. I commented then that I found the book more forced and less narratively powerful than earlier efforts by Poul Anderson, an old science fiction & fantasy pro from the fifties and sixties. Nevertheless the depth & power of the last part of the book, in giving a perspective on living and dying which only those who have lived a life and seen much can give, redeemed the rest. Not, perhaps a particularly brilliant review, but it was the only one by a reader on this web page! Anyway, do read this book if you get the chance and if your interests are in things Norse, adventure, olden times, etc. And especially if you'd like to see what Poul Anderson saw in this very ancient tale which he took from Saxo Grammaticus' Gesta Danorum (the same place Shakespeare took Hamlet from). -- Stuart W. Mirsky
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 27 April 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: War of the Gods (Hardcover)
I really loved this book. Well written, fast paced and compelling story based on norse mythology which made it doubly interesting. A bit of unexpected twist at the end as well. If only I could find more books like this one !
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Depressing and overtold., 20 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This book is a depressing tale of a Scandanavian hero. It is no wonder the Scandanavians have the highest suicide rates in the industrialized world. This story goes from one battle to another without breath and there is no epic feeling to it. It seems the Danish King cannot help but offend gods, giants, elves and other mythic creatures at every turn. There are many more enjoyable Viking/Norse tales to be told. Poul Anderson is a mighty writer, and this may be gleaned from many years of painstaking research, but it is a story that did not need to be told.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

War of the Gods
War of the Gods by Poul Anderson (Hardcover - Oct 1997)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews