The Wolf in the Whale

September 20, 2019 Book Reviews 0 ★★★★★

The Wolf in the WhaleThe Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky
Published by Redhook on January 29, 2019
Pages: 544
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Goodreads five-stars

A sweeping tale of clashing cultures, warring gods, and forbidden love: In 1000 AD, a young Inuit shaman and a Viking warrior become unwilling allies as war breaks out between their peoples and their gods-one that will determine the fate of them all.

"There is a very old story, rarely told, of a wolf that runs into the ocean and becomes a whale."

Born with the soul of a hunter and the spirit of the Wolf, Omat is destined to follow in her grandfather's footsteps-invoking the spirits of the land, sea, and sky to protect her people.

But the gods have stopped listening and Omat's family is starving. Alone at the edge of the world, hope is all they have left.

Desperate to save them, Omat journeys across the icy wastes, fighting for survival with every step. When she meets a Viking warrior and his strange new gods, they set in motion a conflict that could shatter her world...or save it.

TW: violence, battle scenes, rape, animal death.

The Wolf in the Whale is an absolutely beautiful, gut-wrenching book. It held my attention for the entire 500+ pages and my heart for much longer – I’m really shocked that it hasn’t received more attention! Also, I’m still struggling to find the words to describe both the book and my feelings about it. I really just want to shove it in everyone’s face and tell them YOU MUST READ THIS (after pointing at the trigger warnings above, of course). But that typically only works with very close friends.

Not enough for you either? Ok, moving on…

First of all, the entire book is based around the gods even though the main characters are human. The gods of the Inuit and of the norsemen are involved – to the point of meddling selfishly – in the lives of mortals. I didn’t realize this when I first started reading and it took me several chapters to realize that no, the scenes with the gods weren’t visions or dreams. The gods were actual, physical AND spiritual beings that interacted with humans. Excuse me while I rearrange my brain cells. Also, don’t expect any high moral standards from the gods. Some of them are just as despicable as any human villain-characters. It was rather ghastly at times. 😛

The main characters are complicated. The things that happen to Omat are absolutely brutal. The Viking warrior is sympathetic but not an innocent. The clash between Inuit and the Norse gods was fascinating.

I’m going to stop here, because this book has stumped me on writing an actual review for months now. I hope that I’ve convinced you to give it a shot, if you can stomach the heartache and violence. It’s totally worth it.

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five-stars

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