This book screwed me up. It really fucked with my world.
In short, it is a coming-of-age novel for adults. We have this concept of rites of passage in our world, but we lack the ritualistic necessities of them. We go through the motions, but there is little gain as there is little risk.
This book throws adults of our world into a situation that requires them to risk it. It also raises question on bravery, and judgement.
The conflict between the friends shows the conflict men feel in society. One is the fit outdoorsman. One is the settled down married guy. One is just middle of the road successful. One, our main character, is the “fuck up”.
He is the one who lives his life how he wants, and not how society wants him to live; this causes issues with his more ‘traditional’ friends.
They are all then thrown into a man even more traditional issue.
I like it a lot. It hits my Nordic tastes, my Heathen tastes, my love for sacrifice, and my addiction to ‘What does it mean to be a man?’ — because it seems no one can agree on the answer –.
The only critique I have is the black metal band at the end seems very…stereotypical at first; however, I think it is meant for juxtaposition with traditional Scandinavia.
In general, the book seems to be saying, ‘Dudes, male and female, you are not as badass as you think you are.’
The disappearance of the body at the end was beautiful. It means the main character could have imagined it, or it could be real. I, of course, believe it is real; however, that makes him a twat for killing one of the last Huldr.
Be safe. Be loved. Be yourself.