10 Best Norse Mythology Books For Viking Lovers

Norse Mythology has some of the most iconic gods and goddesses including the famous Odin, Thor, Loki, and Freya.

If you love Norse gods and mythology, especially after watching popular movies and getting a feel for them, then you may want to delve deeper into the world of Norse history and mythology.

10 Best Norse Mythology Books For Viking Lovers

I have gathered 10 of the best Norse Mythology books that you will definitely want to add to your reading list!

If you love Norse Mythology, Vikings, and all things Valhalla, then you will enjoy the likes of Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, Gods and Myths Of Northern Europe by H.R. Ellis Davidson, The Viking Spirit by Daniel McCoy and many more on this list!

Themes In Norse Mythology Books


In many Norse stories and tales, heroism plays a key role. The gods themselves embark on journeys where they may be tested on their quest for honor and greatness.


In many of the stories, mythological beings may undergo great adventures, partake in battles, and have high-stakes drama in order to reach their goal and understand the moral of the story.


Trickery, betrayal, and magic are common themes in many Norse tales. Loki is known as the trickster god, who is famous for his mischievous activities and antics that would often hinder the ruling deities in Norse mythology.

Death & The Afterlife

One of the many common themes in Norse mythology is the theme of death and the afterlife.

The most wanted place to go to after death was Valhalla. When a warrior died on the battlefield, he could go to Valhalla with the Valkyries. This was considered a high honor.

Norse Mythology By Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman is one of the most popular books on the subject matter.

From a number one New York Times bestseller, and one of the leading authors of fantasy writing, Norse Mythology offers witty, exciting, and dazzling retellings of the Norse myths and tales.

In this book, you will get renditions of various gods and goddesses, including Thor, the god of thunder, Loki, the famous trickster, and the great and powerful Odin.

This book offers long stories inspired by ancient mythology, from the origin of the Norse gods to the coming of Ragnarok. The writing is true to the real myths themselves, with witty prose and fierce tales.

Gaiman truly breathes new life into the ancient myths of Norse mythology in this book.


  • Gaiman is one of the most talented writers today, and these folktales and legends are no different from his other fantastic works.


  • This book is short, but very easily readable.

Themes: Historical Fiction, Mythology, Classics, Fantasy.

D’Aulaires’ Book Of Norse Myths By Ingri And Edgar Parin D’Aulaire

D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths

If you are looking for a book on Norse mythology to introduce the concept to younger readers, then you should start with D’Aulaires’ Book Of Norse Myths. It is easy to follow and specifically written for children.

The tales themselves are easy to understand, and family-friendly so there are no unsightly verses or details.

However, this book will give an excellent overview of Norse mythology, and all of the gods and goddesses that have made Norse legends so beloved today.



  • It is intended for children, so if you are looking for an introduction to Norse tales that are not edited, then you may want to choose another book.

Themes: Mythology, Fantasy, Classics, Children’s Books.

Gods And Myths Of Northern Europe By H. R. Ellis Davidson

Gods and Myths of Northern Europe

This work of Norse mythology was written for a more general audience, so it is far more detailed than the previous book.

This is the most accessible work, making it the perfect choice for someone new to Norse myths and legends.

Gods and Myths of Northern Europe is all about the pre-Christian beliefs of the Norse and Germanic peoples that has a more historical take on the tales.


  • It is written by one of the 20th century’s foremost scholars of Norse mythology.


  • This book is very academic and covers a lot of essay-type questions.

Themes: Mythology, Historical, Religion, Non-Fiction, Folklore.

Norse Myths: Gods Of The Vikings By Kevin Crossley-Holland

The Penguin Book of Norse Myths: Gods of the Vikings

Norse Myths: Gods Of The Vikings is a Penguin book that retells the stories for a modern reader in a very compelling way.

This book covers the creation of the Norse mythological world, from the building of Asgard to its end in Ragnarok.

You will find out how Odin lost his eye, how Thor got his hammer, and why Loki is known as a trickster in all of popular culture.

The tales themselves are exciting and thrilling to read, and the author is clearly very passionate about these stories, bringing them alive with a sense of realism and interest you cannot get elsewhere.


  • There are notes at the end of each tale, where Crossley-Golland explains where the stories came from and how they impact Norse culture.


  • Some readers found this retelling depressing without any humor or wit.

Themes: Mythology, History, Religion, Folklore, Short Stories.

The Poetic Edda: Stories Of The Norse Gods And Heroes By Jackson Crawford

The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes (Hackett Classics)

The incredible texts from a 13th-century Icelandic manuscript offer huge historical, literary, and mythological importance, and these have been translated and retold in this book.

The Poetic Edda is a work of beauty and is a collection of Old Norse poems composed by Icelandic and Scandinavian poets.

No English translation yet has come close to conveying the full detail and extent of the Old Norse texts until the Poetic Edda came about. It is clear, easy to understand, and preserves the beauty of the original.

The poems are interesting, gripping, and authoritative. With this book, you can truly understand and appreciate the Norse beliefs, motivation, and the value this held over the Vikings.



Themes: Poetry, History, Medieval, Mythology, Classics.

The Viking Spirit: An Introduction To Norse Mythology By Daniel McCoy

The Viking Spirit: An Introduction to Norse Mythology and Religion

The Viking Spirit is an introduction to Norse mythology that offers gripping retellings of 34 epic Norse tales.

With a comprehensive overview of Viking beliefs and religion, this book is a must-read for all fans of Norse mythology.

In this book, you will learn how the gods came to be, how they dealt with the notion of fate, their feelings towards the afterlife, their morals, and how magic came into their lives.

It is written by the creator of a very popular website ‘Norse Mythology for Smart People’ and is written to scholarly standards, but is highly entertaining and clear to read.


  • This book contains a plethora of information about Norse mythology, including many footnotes so the reader can delve deeper into the topics.


  • Some readers may not enjoy the writer’s style and can find it condescending.

Themes: Mythology, History, Religion, Spirituality.

The Saga Of The Volsungs By Jackson Crawford

The Saga of the Volsungs: With the Saga of Ragnar Lothbrok (Hackett Classics)

From the translator of the Poetic Edda shown above in this list comes this wonderful book- The Saga Of The Volsungs. This is a gripping new rendering of the two greatest sagas found in Old Norse literature.

The two sagas retell the story of seven generations of a heroic family including the tale of the legendary dragon-slayer Sigurs, and Brynhild the Valkyrie.

This collection is filled with short, interesting, and action-packed episodes that are highly enjoyable to read, and offer insight into the history of Norse people.


  • This book provides a clear, accessible translation of Old Norse literature by Jackson Crawford.


  • There is a lot of violence and blood in this book.

Themes: Mythology, Classics, History, Poetry.

The Sagas Of Icelanders By Jane Smiley

The Sagas of Icelanders: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

In a similar vein, you may also enjoy The Sagas Of The Icelanders. This unique body of medieval literature depicts the real lives and deeds of Norse men and women who were the first to settle in Iceland.

In Iceland, the Viking Age is known as the Saga Age. The book follows their descendants who ventured even further in the world, in a web of tales and short stories that celebrate the rich history and culture of Norse mythology.


  • This is the perfect book if you are interested in Scandinavian history and the Vikings. The stories are well-told and fascinating to read.


  • The stories can be complex and go off on tangents, so it can be hard to remain focused on the tale at times.

Themes: History, Classics, Medieval, Poetry, Mythology.

Loki And Sigyn: Lessons On Chaos, Laughter & Loyalty From The Norse Gods By Lea Svendsen

Loki and Sigyn: Lessons on Chaos, Laughter & Loyalty from the Norse Gods

If the MARVEL films have made you a big fan of Loki, then you will enjoy this book. Loki and Sigyn: Lessons On Chaos, Laughter & Loyalty uncovers the truth about Loki and his wife, Sigyn.

While Loki is the god of trickery, his wife is the goddess of loyalty and compassion. This book takes a captivating look at these two Norse deities, both together and as separate entities.

You will discover their histories, their backgrounds, their trials in parenthood, and their relationships with the other gods and goddesses during their lifetimes.

It is an invigorating novel and one that many Norse mythology fans will enjoy.


  • This is a thoughtful, beautifully written book that shows the author’s devotion to their work.


  • Some readers may not enjoy the mention of heathen rituals in this book.

Themes: Mythology, Spirituality, Religion, Occult.

The Witch’s Heart By Genevieve Gornichec

The Witch's Heart

If you want something a little different that encompasses Norse mythology, then you may enjoy The Witch’s Heart. In this book, a young witch called Angrboda falls in love with the trickster god, Loki.

She has the gift of sight and is able to see the future, so when Odin demands her powers are given to him, she denies him. She is punished horribly but her love and power are strong.

This is an excellent retelling of Angrboda and Loki that all readers can enjoy.



  • There are some delicate themes in this book that may be uncomfortable for some readers.

Themes: Mythology, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance, Witches, Fiction.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, on this list, I have covered some of my favorite Norse mythology books, from retellings to translations to fiction novels that welcome Norse mythology and folktales.

One of my personal favorites and top of the list is Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

This book deserves a spot on every Norse mythology book lover’s bookshelf, but I also loved reading The Witch’s Heart.

It was different, riveting, and the protagonist’s struggle for agency and freedom really stopped me from putting it down!

If you want to be swept up into the intricate world of Norse gods and goddesses, and feel like you are in Valhalla yourself- then any of these books will suffice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is The Most Powerful Norse God?

The most well-known Norse God has got to be Odin. Odin is known as a supreme deity of Norse mythology and is one of the greatest and most powerful gods.

Odin was the Allfather of the Aesir. He was the ruler of Asgard and one of the most revered gods who was also immortal.

What Is Valhalla?

Valhalla in Norse mythology is the hall of slain warriors who live there blissfully under the protection and leadership of Odin.

Valhalla is meant to be a blissful and grand place, made with shields, great architecture, and feasts for the warriors to dine upon.

Valhalla is essentially a mythical hall that is a paradise for the fallen warriors of Norse mythology.

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Noah Burton