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Mist    by Susan Krinard order for
by Susan Krinard
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Once a Valkyrie (one of Odin's Shield-Maidens), Mist has lived long centuries aiding humanity when she had the chance. After the Last Battle, she was tasked, along with her sisters with guarding one of the great Treasures - she has been responsible for Gungnir, Odin's spear, which 'would find its mark when all other weapons failed.'

Now Mist has a fairly normal life with her handsome boyfriend Eric in San Francisco. She has long lost touch with her sisters. One day in June the weather turns frigid and a weaponless Mist encounters and defeats a frost giant. She finds a pile of rags that turns out to be Dainn, one of 'the light-elves of Alfheim, allies of the gods.' And she learns that Eric is really the trickster god Loki, who has been using her and has stolen Gungnir.

Dainn tells Mist that the Aethir and their enemies have been trapped in a kind of stasis since the Last Battle, that they cannot reach Midgard in corporeal form and only Freya can communicate across the Void. But somehow Loki and his frost giant allies have succeeded in crossing it. As they seek Loki together, Dainn tutors Mist in magic, and she discovers that she is much more powerful than she ever realized.

But, as Dainn gets to know Mist (who is unsure of whether she can trust him) and to feel a strong attraction to her, he is conflicted by his mission for Freya, which requires him to prepare Mist so that the goddess can take over her body when she decides to execute her plans. As all this develops, Mist acquires two young human allies (Ryan and Gaby) with talents of their own. And she learns more of her own heritage.

Much of this first book sets the scene for what will surely follow, slowing the action. Though I've always liked Norse mythology and did enjoy this story, I also found it a bit ho-hum. I hope the action will pick up as the series continues.

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