Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Curriculum Subjects: Fantasy, Folk Tales
Loki’s Wolves is the first of a series for children built in an Almighty Johnson-esque world where the central characters are descendants of Norse Gods, coming into their god-like powers. Unlike the Almighty Johnsons, Loki’s Wolves is suitable for children. Loki’s Wolves was written by popular YA/adult authors Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr using their initials to differentiate between their young adult/adult fiction and this series aimed at primary to middle school children.
Matt Thorsen is – surprise – Thor in this re-imagining of Viking mythology. Laurie and Fen’s Norse identities should be revealed in the next novel or two so I won’t spoil the story. Laurie and Fen are like brother and sister although they’re cousins, from a family of shape-shifters.
Ragnarok is prophesied. Matt overhears his grandfather talking, telling the other town elders that Matt will be the sacrifice to keep them safe. Feeling betrayed yet bound to ‘do the right thing’, Matt sets off with his friends to find the McGuffins. Along the way they solve riddles and meet trolls and bears and wolves – Loki’s Wolves?
Loki’s Wolves is entirely suitable for children with its adventure focus. The children’s relationships are platonic, even sibling-like, although it is possible romance may develop later. (There should be more platonic relationships and fewer romantic relationships for this reading age group so kudos to the authors.) A well-told story engaging young readers with mythology, history and landmarks while exploring issues of loyalty and sacrifice. Highly recommended.