Back to Children of Ragnarok

Reviews, Honors, and Awards

Akron Beacon Journal, Dec. 4, 2022
Barbara McIntyre reviews Children of Ragnarok

Book Talk: ‘Children of Ragnarok’ an epic tale of Norse mythology
Author Cinda Williams Chima returns with teen epic based on Norse mythology.

Read the full review here

Booklist, December 1, 2022

Children of Ragnarok.
By Cinda Williams Chima
2022. 560p. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, $18.99 (9780063018686). Gr. 10–12

Ragnarok, the gods’ war, has come and gone, leaving the human realm in chaos. Eiric, son of Sylvi, loses his modir (mother) after she gives birth to his brother and is left to die along with the baby. Reggin, a healer who’s been sold into slavery to strange monster Alger, has traveled her entire life and fears the anger of her master. When Eiric and Reggin cross paths in an alehouse, an attraction forms, though neither expects to see the other again. Eiric returns home to try to save his family’s farm with the help of his half sister Liv, while Reggin narrowly escapes to learn magic from wyrdspinners. But magic nudges them back together and toward the old gods of Asgard. Chima has been a fixture on best-seller lists as long as she’s been writing, and this new series has the depth to grab epic fantasy fans. Mythology-based books draw natural comparisons to Rick Riordan, though this, less humorous, may hit the spot for readers growing out of Riordan’s many series.

— Stacey Comfort

CHIMA, CINDA WILLIAMS Children of Ragnarok. Balzer + Bray, 2022 [560p] (The Runestone Saga)

Reviewed by April Spisak, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Johns Hopkins University Press
Volume 76, Number 3, November 2022

Three teens each head for New Jotunheim, a place that houses the Temple at the Grove, to find magic in a world that has been rendered harsh and nearly magic-less by Ragnarok. Sixteen-year-old Eiric is earnest, loyal, and in quite a bit of trouble after the disappearance of his abusive stepfather. His half-sister, Liv, is strong, wild, and blessed with rare access to magic. Finally, there’s Reggin, a spellsinger and musician who needs a chance to escape her enslavement by a fire demon. The temple, however, is not the haven that all imagine it to be, and Eiric, Liv, and Reggin are drawn into the middle of a brewing battle between whatever versions of good and evil exist in a place where a war of gods has already left things twisted and ruined. There’s an extensive amount of world building, character development, and plot advancement in this first volume in an anticipated series, and the result is, on occasion, dense and a bit daunting. Even so, there will be plenty of readers who want every single detail offered, and even more who are willing to do the extra work because of the entirely unexpected and unique setting of a post-Ragnarok world.

Chosen as one of Amazon's Best Young Adult Books of 2022

Kirkus Review

Author: Cinda Williams Chima

Review Issue Date: August 15, 2022
Online Publish Date: August 3, 2022
Publisher:Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

This first entry in the Runestone Saga series introduces readers to a world of witches, gods, demons, and humans.

Drawing on Norse mythology, this ambitious, original story captivates from beginning to end. Eiric Halvorsen and his mysterious half sister, Liv, are fighting to maintain ownership of Sundgard, their unusually prosperous farm located in the depressed land of Muckleholm; Sten, their drunken stepfather, has designs on it himself. When their mother, Sylvi, dies of exposure while protecting the infant son that Sten has rejected and left out to die, Liv and Eiric know they will be the next victims. Instead, they kill Sten and, for protection, make a deal with Jarl Harald, the regional leader, to search out a group of mythical islands, where the volur, or witches, live.

A concurrent storyline follows Reggin, a thrall enslaved by fire demon Asger. Reggin is forced to use her considerable healing and musical abilities to make money, but worse is the painful transmission of her energy that Asger takes by touch to sustain himself.

Eventually these two plots converge in a satisfying, organic way. The novel is lively and well told, with twists galore. This innovative story with a satisfying ancient mythology baseline strikes a refreshing note for the genre.

Publisher's Weekly, September 15, 2022

Children of Ragnarok (Runestone Saga #1)

Cinda Williams Chima. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $18.99 (560p) ISBN 978-0-06-301868-6

This sweeping, Norse myth–inspired series opener from Chima (the Shattered Realms series) follows Eiric Halvorsen and Reggin Eiklund, two white-cued 16-year-olds desperate for freedom. To avoid their extended family’s wrath after killing their abusive stepfather in self-defense, fisherman and farmer Eiric, a Viking descended from gods, and his half sister Liv strike a deal with regional leader Jarl Karlsen: if the siblings locate a rumored stronghold of witches, or wyrdspinners, Karlsen will pay off the siblings’ persecutors. Elsewhere, Reggin Eiklund, a spellsinging, runecasting foundling indebted to fire demon Asger, plays music, peddles remedies, and runs cons for Asger’s financial gain while leeching her energy to sustain himself. When Reggin performs sorcery one night at an alehouse, two wyrdspinners offer refuge from Asger at the Academy of the Grove, a hidden paradise and training ground. Chima toggles between Eiric’s and Reggin’s equally electrifying perspectives, and the tension, stakes, and complications mount as their paths intertwine. The vibrantly characterized, racially diverse cast is replete with courageous, resourceful women, imparting feminist undertones. Despite its scope, length, and complexity, Chima’s epic never outstays its welcome, stoking anticipation for the sequel. Ages 13–up. Agent: Christopher Schelling, Selectric Artists. (Nov.)

Indie Love

“Thoroughly enjoyable. Great story, great action, and a cool twist on Nordic myths with Asgardian heroes, Jotun witches, and fire demons. It is the Sword & Sorcery adventure I didn't know I was waiting for. Can't wait for the sequel!” – Kristine Jelstrom-Hamill, Buttonwood Books and Toys (Cohasset, MA)