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NESP Reviews


Cassel Dictionary
of Norse Myth and Legend

by Andy Orchard

Reviewed by Alfta Svanni Lothursdottir

        This is probably the best dictionary on Northern lore after Simek's Dictionary of Northern Mythology. It is not quite as extensive as Simek's but it does have features that recommend it over Simek's. One is the illustrations. You'll find quite a few illustrations of archaeological finds. Like Simek, Orhcard carefully documents the sources for his definitions as well as giving further sources that the student can explore to expand on their knowledge of any particular entry. There are several useful appendices which include lists of Othinn's names, as well as a list of dwarf, giant, valkyrie, troll wife and giantess names. There is also an extremely detailed and useful bibliography for further reading. Anyone who has ever tried to expand their library with quality books on Northern lore and culture will find this bibliography very useful.
        In the final analysis if you had to choose, I would suggest Simek's dictionary; edging out Orchards by a very small margin. But either book would be an excellent addition to any library of Northern lore and culture. If you can get both, all the better. You can't go wrong with this book.

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