Title: The Rise of the Jotuns
(The Asgardian Exchange)
Author: Mark Bryan
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Length: 289 pages
Publish Date: February 1, 2020
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Reedsy Discovery for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
There are various versions of retellings of the Asguardians and the story of Thor and the Nordic gods. This is one of the most unique retellings that I have witnessed in my entire reading career and I am very glad that I was able to have an opportunity to read it.
In this story, Ragnarok happened a thousand years go. At this point, the gods had to strike a deal with the Fates of Asgard in order to save themselves from total annihilation. Whether that was a self-serving move or not, it would be up to the reader to decide when they read it. With their deal, every hundred years would see the gods have their magick and gifts removed and gifted to others – mortal others that would have to serve the Nine Realms for the greater good. There is always a risk on those that are gifted powers that will end up abusing that power, but if that will save the gods from being completely removed from the Nine Realms, that seems like a small price to pay. So far, this deal has been working in their favor, and mortal boys and girls find themselves serving the Nine Realms and become a group called the Favoured.
Amanda West is our main character in this story, and is in the latest rendition of the Favored in a world that is years in the future of what we see at this day. Unfortunately, Amanda is seeing that there are underlying problems at steak in Asgard, and there is a deadly outbreak that is spreading throughout the realm. Will she be able to use her newfound powers to stop this invasion from taking place, which could bring about another Ragnarok?
This books dives deeper into the deal that the gods made with the Fates of Asgard, and with Amanda, we are able to see whether being one of the Favoured is indeed a good thing for these mortal boys and girls throughout the years that have gone by. Amanda is in the middle of a battle between good and evil, where the lines between the two are blurred and not as they seem. The strength that Amanda is able to show in this situation is admirable, and I am excited to see what the sequel has in store for new fans of this world.