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By the Mountain Bound (The Edda of Burdens #2)

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  284 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
For five hundred years the immortal Children of the Light, einherjar and valkyrie,have lived together in the North of Valdyrgard. They were born out of the Sea, each with a shining crystal sword in his or her hand; they are Angels of Light created in the formation of a new world. But three have come before them, from the death-throes of the old world, Midgard:the world-gir ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Tor Fantasy (first published October 27th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Feb 26, 2011 Kris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This story is the prequel to "All the Windwracked Stars" and it was interesting to see how things came to be in the state they were at the start of that book. In fact, after I was done reading this, I then reread "All the Windwracked Stars" just to pick up on the various things that have a different meaning now that I had the background from "By the Mountain Bound". If you liked "All the Windwracked Stars", you'll like this book as well.
Barb in Maryland
Dec 05, 2009 Barb in Maryland rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-f
I had very mixed feelings about this book. It is a prequel to "All the Windracked Stars", which I had already read and loved. So the prose was glorious, but the story line was tragic. Having read Windracked Stars, I already knew how this one was going to end. And I wasn't sure I wanted to put myself through that.
This was be a great intro for those who have yet to read Windracked Stars, but a bit of a downer for those who have read it.
Jan 25, 2010 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is just as gorgeously written and heartbreaking as the first, All the Windwracked Stars. Also like the first, it's not an easy, fluffy read, but it's so worth it. Highly recommended.
JoAnn Jordan
Feb 04, 2010 JoAnn Jordan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book telling a mythic type tale. The characters are strong and well-defined. It is a tale of good and evil and worth reading.
Mar 20, 2012 Ginn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A prequel to All the Windwracked Stars. I think it might be better to read this one first, since while reading the other I was quite confused as to who Muire was and where she was coming from. An interesting, but slow read.
...I must admit that without the steampunk and post-apocalyptic atmosphere of the previous book, By the Mountain Bound did not appeal to me quite as much as All the Windwracked Stars. That being said, it is, certainly in a stylistic sense, a very good book. One I plan on giving my undivided attention sometime before the third book, The Sea thy Mistress, is released next year. If you enjoyed All the Windwracked Stars you'll want to read this.

Full Random Comments review
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 09, 2010 Robin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a book for the faint of heart. It's full of problems with no good solutions and characters who are traumatized, damaged, lost, trapped, heartbroken... some of them all of the above. I ached all the way through it.

Thing is, that ache was exquisite. I don't think I've enjoyed crying over a book this much since Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's Blood Games. Mingan, especially, got under my skin. He's a deliciously broken character, and I felt like I understood him on a visceral level, even when he did ter
Lianne Burwell
Jan 27, 2011 Lianne Burwell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is apparently the middle book of a trilogy, but it stands on its own.

After the Norse Ragnarok, the world is recovering. Mortals live in towns on the coast, while immortals fight mock battles. one of them is Mingan, the Wolf, who was once Fenris, the sun-eater.

Then a goddess, Heythe, arrives, and ends up dividing up the immortals and creating a war intended to wipe them all out. Maybe I would understand better if I'd read the first book.

It took a while to get used to the way Ms Bear uses lan
Ok, to be honest I didn't compeltely finish it, so take that as affecting the rating for what it's worth. It's a strange story, the love affair between the two male leads, while compelling, did not appeal to me in the least (it was necessarily graphic--if she had been more subtle about it I probably wouldn't have been bothered as much). I already know how it ends, since I've read the 'sequel', and wasn't looking forward to it. The setting/mythology is interesting, as is the magic. The characteri ...more
Briana Rankin
The world is interesting and lush, the characters are unexpectedly fleshed out, and the lore is dear to my heart. For some reason, however, it didn't sit well with me. I had a really hard time getting through this book. Maybe I have a problem with viking demi-gods been same-sex oriented? Who knows. But the idea of the story was much better than the actual story.
Feb 27, 2012 Evilynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, fantasy, 2012
I was surprised to find out I liked this more than All The Windwracked Stars, I fully expected the opposite. It feels less grim!dark than the first book, despite the ending, and for a book where you already knew the end it didn't drag as much as I felt the first book did, and now I'm looking forward to reading The Sea Thy Mistress.
May 27, 2011 kvon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the book I expected from when I leafed through it in the bookstore. I have a habit of avoiding the book back synopses in favor of opening to a random page 50-60 pages in, and from that deciding if I want to see how the author gets there and if I like her style. But I happened into one of Muire's chapters, and she seems like a kickass arbiter of justice, and she turns out to be one of the minor characters (although she's probably the main character in the sequel). The first half of the book i ...more
Maggie K
Dec 29, 2014 Maggie K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is 2nd in a those of you who read it first, well, you arent supposed to get it, it is 2nd in a series! What part of that is so hard to understand?? The world-building already happened! If you decided to skip it, that is on you, not the book! (One of my rants is people who rate books they don't get, when there is a clear reason they dont get it)

Anyway, to my review.... I really enjoyed this! Having read (and loved) All the Windwracked Stars, I had to read this one, and was
May 14, 2011 Vishal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By the mountain Bound is Elizabeth Bear's prequel to "The windwracked Stars". It explains the origins of the children of the light, their life and their internal strife. I really liked how Elizabeth gets under the skin of her characters and fleshes them out. I think it is much more readable than windwracked stars and if you are looking for a fantasy fiction with a bit of dark psychology thrown in do pick this one up.
Nov 03, 2011 Erin rated it it was amazing
I was impressed by Bear's ability to reconceive in a futuristic manner the mythic Valkyrie. The dark grittiness of her world reminded me of Frank Herbert who is a favorite author of mine. I appreciate how she didn't over explained things making her world all the more believable. I loved the complexity of the characters. Personally, I wish I could rate this 4.5 stars. There were parts near the end, the ending was brilliantly executed, that felt forced.
Aug 16, 2011 Liz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
By the Mountain Bound - Elizabeth Bear
As a gamer I was intrigued by the cover art. The beautiful armor and magnificent sword grabbed my attention and I HAD to
start reading it.
A few pages in, I grew very unsure about the book however. The character's were not described and I barely knew who was
narrating the chapters. I feel like the characters did not have personality as I'm used to by many authors and it struck me
so strangely it became a chore to read. When it's so tough to try and figure out
Oct 12, 2011 Lauryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
While this book is listed as second in the Edda of Burdens series, it's actually a prequel to the first novel in the series. I found this book to be much more concrete than the first book in the series. I'm not sure if that's because I had a concept of the characters/world or if the story is easier to follow. I would be curious to reread the first book with the knowledge gained from this second book. That being said, I would definitely read this book second in the series. I think the first book ...more
I don't think I can actually say I enjoyed reading this one: it was just too much of a tragedy. It does provide a fascinating warping of the idea Ragnarok however, and fill in much of the backstory for All the Windracked Stars. It's clever, bleak, and sad. I do wonder what was going on in Elizabeth Bear's head and heart to make her write this, or perhaps what was going on while she was writing it. Nothing easy, I suspect.
Kate O'Hanlon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen Ireland-Phillips
The 3 1/2 stars isn't is more reflective of the fact that I read it singly, instead of as part of its trilogy. I'm trying not to read trilogies piecemeal - I already follow too many universes to keep effective track of all of them.[return]And Norse mythology has never been a favorite of mine, though Bear manages to make the gods seem - almost human. [return]Okay, I'm going to have to review this after re-reading it with the rest of the trilogy.
Jan 08, 2012 Alytha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
By The Mountain Bound is the second volume of Elizabeth Bear's Edda of Burdens series.

This is the prequel to All the Windwracked Stars, and explains how the terrible battle in which the children of the light and the tainted destroyed each other. In the beginning, the waelcyrge and their chosen einherjar live in barbarian happiness in their halls with lots of mead, and keep justice in the mortal towns around.
One day, they find an almost-drowned young woman on the beach. She turns out to be a for
Mar 08, 2012 Rusty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Flora
Shelves: fantasy
What a great read! It was easy, exciting and so much fun that I just could not put it down and I simply must read something more by Elizabeth Bear. The Angels of Light are dividied by a goddess who seeks to destroy them and their seer who lives in the sea. When some of group, led by Strifbjorn, warrior and former leader, object to Heythe's leadership, war between the groups cannot be avoided. The war is bloody and brutal.
Rosu Aquabutts
"I really liked it."

Wow, this was brutal.

By the Mountain Bound is a sequel/prequel to All the Wind-Wracked Stars. Prequel in that it all happens chronologically earlier, prequel in that it was published second and assumes knowledge of the first. It assumes a lot of knowledge of the first. See, this book is a tragedy. In fact, calling it a tragedy seems too light. This book is a car crash in slow motion, where we know exactly what position the cars all end up in and who was ruled culpable and how
Asia Peterson
Didn't finish yet....but the point in which I got to was excellent, so when I do finish, I shall revise my rating....maybe....oh yeah, if you do not like malexmale relationships, then this book is not for you....un.
Jan 08, 2013 Andrew rated it liked it
I love the world that Bear has created, particularly the way she has worked with the Norse mythology. Using the three voices also worked well, but I found there were places where the story just didn't flow and the reader was asked to make a bit of a leap in understanding.
Feb 26, 2013 Derek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Enjoyable prequel to All the Windwracked Stars. The novel deals with the events leading up to the confrontation between the Children of the Light and the Tainted Ones. By the Mountain Bound is a more straightforward read than All the Windwracked Stars, perhaps an easier read as well, but I believe this is a product of the reader understanding the elements at play. Things that were hinted at, or however briefly explained in All the Windwracked Stars are better showcased in this book, and this pro ...more
Oct 30, 2014 Ellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WOW. This should be the first book in the series not the second. It explains so much that went over my head in the first book. You can tell that the author has grown into her craft as well, this book is beautifully written.
Abi Walton
Just to start off, I know that this book is technically the second one but my friend has read all three in the series and she told me to start with 'By The Mountain Bound' and I found it incredibly easy to follow considering "all the world building is done in the first book". I think not. Elizabeth bear is a extremely talented writer and from what I hears this book can be a stand alone, but how anyone could just read this book and not want desperately to know what happened to MIngan is not in my ...more
Oct 10, 2016 Susan rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt
I still don't know what I think of this series!

On one hand, this book and its sequel are just gorgeous. The setting is fascinating, this mix of Norse mythology in a fantasy world, gorgeously sad in the inevitable tragedy and yet hopeful in all the characters' loss, sacrifices and will to survive. I became truly invested in Strifbjorn, Muire and Mingan, in all their incarnations. I find tragedy is an inevitable result of a character's habits, upbringing or personality to be really affecting, so
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Elizabeth Bear was born on the same day as Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, but in a different year. This, coupled with a childhood tendency to read the dictionary for fun, led her inevitably to penury, intransigence, the mispronunciation of common English words, and the writing of speculative fiction.

She lives in Massachusetts with a Giant Ridiculous Dog. Her partner, acclaimed fantasy author Scott Lynch
More about Elizabeth Bear...

Other Books in the Series

The Edda of Burdens (3 books)
  • All the Windwracked Stars (The Edda of Burdens, #1)
  • The Sea Thy Mistress (The Edda of Burdens, #3)

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