Thor is one of Norse mythology’s most prominent gods and perhaps the ultimate representative of the Old Norse conception of masculinity. He’s not exactly the sharpest sword in the armoury, but his sheer strength and courage combined with a general lack of guile makes him more honest and forthright than the average man. He doesn’t mince words, only enemies.
It has been a long time coming, but Black Wolf: The Binding of Loki is now on the verge of publication. After several production snags resulting from the sheer length of the book and structural changes at the printing company, I am expecting the e-book to be released shortly, with the paperback novel to be available by early March. This week, I have been working with Renaissance Press to finalize the back cover copy, and we are ALL looking forward to finally setting this little bird free.
Though he was not quite of age, Thor had grown snugly into the mantle of manhood. He was broad and brawny, already quite adept at the skills of warcraft, and he frequently bested more seasoned athletes at games of strength and agility. His coarse hair had grown into a great mane of brassy blond, and his beard was full and streaked with copper. He could be quick to anger but just as quick to forgive, and his jovial demeanour made him many friends amongst the Aesir.
But as he strode across the fields in search of his younger brothers, his mind was clouded by thoughts of his parents’ strange behaviour in recent days and the increasing weight it placed on his shoulders as Odin’s eldest son. Frigg’s rational and compassionate leadership had lapsed suddenly when Baldr grew frail, and Odin’s disappearance had only exacerbated her fragility. Odin himself had remained distant and secretive since his return.
Útgarda-Loki beamed at Thjálfi, then turned his attention back to Thor and Loki. “I would be honoured to keep the three of you as guests this evening. You are free to wander as you please—you will find nothing that I wish to keep hidden. But I will keep no one who is not the master of some task, so after our meal, I will test you. If you pass, you may stay with me in my house as long as you like and enjoy all the pleasures you find within.” Gracefully sweeping his arm to one side, Útgarda-Loki gestured towards his many guests, all of whom watched the odd trio with intense curiosity.
The thought of her husband made Sigyn’s stomach clench. It was not like Loki to return to the Northlands so late in the year after his annual journey south. That had always been part of their marriage agreement: he would stay with her and the children during the hard, lean northern winters but would be free to travel south during the relative comfort of the summer months. Loki always came home with stories of his adventures with Thor, and his ability to change shape made him a most entertaining storyteller.
Sif is Thor’s wife and the mother of Thrúd and Ullr.
Little is known of Sif, but some speculate that her golden hair and her relationship to the god of the sky suggest she is an earth goddess and that her golden hair signifies wheat, flax, or other crops.
When I started writing Black Wolf: The Binding of Loki back in February 2015, I had no idea what a crazy trip I was embarking on or how much of my sanity I would have to pay out to get to my destination. There’s a lot to know and plenty to puzzle over when it comes to Norse mythology, as the myths, poems, and sagas were transmitted orally by the Vikings but not committed to paper until more than a century after their pagan religion and way of life had vanished.