Skadi is the debut novel of author Steven Grier Williams. Besides reading this fantastic book, I also had the pleasure of interviewing Steven about it and upcoming projects he’s working on. That interview will be posted soon, but for now I wanted to share my review of Skadi.
The prologue of this novel immediately sucked me. Without any spoilers, I will say it makes the reader have many questions to start with, those questions becoming a part of an already epic journey.
The main character Skadi comes across as very selfish and narrow-minded in the beginning. Her main focuses are following her late husband’s last wish that her and their son Bjorn move to his hometown and on protecting Bjorn from the violence of Midgard. When they move to the town of Fensalir and Skadi finds out children are being killed, she immediately wants to leave so she can keep Bjorn safe, but a witch named Frija shows up at their door and persuades Skadi to not only stay and help the town, but to go on a quest that will change her in every way.
I will admit that it took me awhile to grow to like Skadi as a character. Though she is well-written and her motivations are always clear, I found her to be almost too selfish and narrow-minded at times. There were times when reading that I felt very frustrated by her words and actions, but as the story went on, I grew to like her more. By the end of the novel it all made sense to me why she went about things the way she did. I am interested to see how her character grows as the story progresses forward because this is only the beginning of a grander journey.
My favorite aspect of this book is the use of Norse Mythology to show the real world struggles we face. This is a story of advocacy, overcoming difficult obstacles, and dealing with the loss of a loved one, something we encounter in our every day, real world lives. Every scene in this novel is thoughtfully written with no word or page wasted. There wasn’t a single scene that I felt wasn’t necessary to the story, showing the time and careful effort Steven put into making this novel as fluid as possible. When I finally had the time to read it, it took me about an hour and half (I read it on the way to a Renaissance Faire and then finished the few pages I had on the way back), and it was a great choice to read before going to the Renaissance Faire!
So if you’re someone who enjoys Norse Mythology and real world issues being tackled in a fantastical way, then I highly recommend adding Skadi to your to-read list. It’s an immersive and entertaining read that makes you sit back and think when you’re done with it. Since advocacy is one of the themes of this novel, I sat back and wondered how I could help make positive changes in the world or what changes I could make to become more positive within myself. As a reader and a writer, I’ve always believed that the two most important things as a writer is to entertain your reader and make your reader ask questions. Skadi definitely meets both of those beliefs.
I am excited to see how Steven’s writing career progresses. If you want to learn about Steven, head over to his website StevenGrierWilliams.com. From there you can find the links to purchase his book, find out where he’ll be doing a meet and greet, and more. I hope you will consider supporting him and following along on his writing journey!