Treasury of Norse Mythology is the third book in National Geographic's series of mythological anthologies, with the fist being Greek and the second being Egyptian. The book begins with an introduction, which stressed the importance of this mythological tales and also explained how they were preserved in the Old Norse, as opposed to Latin, which was the most widely used language at the time. The book then appropriately begins with the Norse creation story. It tells of there being three regions. The north, Niflheim, was frozen with snow and ice. The south, Muspell, was all flame. The middle, Ginnungagap, was empty and waiting. It then tells us about the first frost giant, Ymir, the first god, Buri, who had a son named Bor, and three grandchildren named Odin, Vili, and Ve. Bor's sons and the frost giants hated each other, and eventually Bor's sons killed Ymir. However, from that death came the creation of many other things.
There are seventeen tales in total in this treasury, including tales of Odin, Loki, Thor, and lastly the story of destruction, also known as Ragnarok. The final tale was definitely interesting as it involved a lot of battle, bloodshed, and the eventual destruction of virtually everything and everyone. However, this end was not really an end, but a new beginning instead. Two humans lived and would populate the new cosmos, and one dragon survived who would punish evil ones. At the very end of the book are maps, timelines, and key characters which provide a visual glossary of names. There's also a bibliography which is extremely helpful if you are looking to further read up on Norse mythology.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I was first introduced to Norse mythology through the works of Ingri and Edgar d'Aulaire, and I would compare this book to their books. I would say it is slightly more advanced, but not by a great deal. The artwork in the book is stunning, very colorful, and plentiful. This is a perfect resource for the homeschool parent or school teacher, as it serves as a nice bridge between the d'Aulaires and higher level mythology books. It's also a good way to get kids who like Thor and the Avengers to read and learn more. A fine book, which I'd recommend. Now will there be a fourth in the series or was this the last one?
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