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NESP Reviews


Usborne Illustrated Guide To Norse Myths and Legends

with Illustrations by Rodeny Matthews

by Cheryle Evans and Anne Millard

Review by Alfta Svanni Lothursdottir

The first thing that strikes you about this glossy, magazine style booklet is the cover which is supposed to depict Thorr in his wagon. What is depicted is a blue-skinned demon with dark gray hair and goats with glowing red demonic eyes. When one reads the back cover and sees that this book is "a source of inspiration for role-playing games," then one is not very hopeful on what is contained inside. The art for this book, of which there is a good deal, is the most curious art I have ever seen depicting the Regin and other beings in the Northern world. The illustrations look like Asian deities and one wonders, almost, if they got the wrong set of illustrations for this book. Othinn and Frigg look as if they belong more in a book about Asian dieties than a book on the Northern Ways. Often the Regin are portrayed in a fashion that reminds of demonic depictions with red glowing eyes. Othinn is one that is depicted this way.

The stories of the lore are, to some degree, better, though they seem to be a little warped in places. A "Who's Who" section at the end of the book looks like it is straight out of a role-playing game handbook. I cannot say this book is of much worth.

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